I’m a work of art. Meant to be appreciated and left undisturbed.

The men who get this are the ones who are allowed to stick around. The best ones don’t need to be told or managed. They step in, stay behind the rope, and enjoy the piece on its merits.

The ones who don’t understand the rules—who want to carry me out of my place in the museum, who get too close and try to leave fingerprints on my pristine surface, who become lazy, crude consumers—are swiftly removed.

The most insidious offenders are the ones too caught up in their fantasy of the work to see it as it is. You know the type. They craft lengthy narratives out of its parts and tell themselves that because they’ve stared long enough, dedicated hours to spinning fanfiction out of their favorite parts, they know the creator’s intent.

I could blame myself. The best way to make people see the truth of you is to give it to them. To be a person; not a portrait.

No, thank you.

The occasional deluded fan is the cost of being a fantasy.