I perused the museum’s other wings leisurely, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to take it all in on one day anyway. I planned to come back, at least a couple more days on this trip, and of course, on future trips. I lingered over a few paintings that I admired, but they weren’t making me feel any better. I could see the cracks in the peeling paint, and the fading of the pigments.
Yes, everything faded, eventually. Except David. He would never fade. Who’s fate was crueler, his or mine?
The thoughts in my head were relentless, one question blending into another and another. It was painful! Heavy bricks stacked one on top of another, forming a block wall behind my eyes.
I had always dreamed of visiting the Louvre and should have been happy to be there, yet all I could think of was death. Every painting, sculpture, and drawing that I looked at reminded me of death. Every single thing in this museum would turn to dust and be forgotten someday. Death was not hiding in the shadows here, it was parading in the garish light for all to see, if they cared to notice. Death was unavoidable, that was the way of all things.
As I was walking thorough one room, trying to find a different wing, something caught my eye. It was a small sculpture, only about 12 inches high. It was more of a talisman, really. A trinket. It was Assyrian, and the date range was between 10-6,000 years BC. That was a pretty big range, but, I guess when aging things, a few thousand years give or take was close enough, at least for scientists.
It was stone and seemed to be a demon of some sort. It had large wings, taloned feet, and a horrid, scowling face. But, what caught my eye was that it had no belly button. Just like David. Was David a demon? I stared into the sculpture’s hideous face and couldn’t see a resemblance in the least. What had happened to David was unfair, he hadn’t asked for his fate. Surely, a God with mercy wouldn’t strike him down for that? But, then I remembered that demons were fallen angels, in fact, and if they had no belly button then perhaps angels did not either. It was as if a light bulb came on above my head like an old cartoon. It was a flash of, of something; a small morsel of knowledge that passed through my mind in an instant and then flew away beyond my grasp. I would have to catch it and chew on it later, if I could remember. Why had I not brought my sketchbook so I could write stuff down?
Eventually, closing time grew near and it was time for me to leave. I bid farewell to my precious winged Victory, walking past her and down the Daru staircase one last time on my way out. I found a cab to take me to our hotel.
It was raining. Paris was beautiful in the rain.