When I returned to the apartment, I took special care to remove WHN from my coat pocket as carefully as possible to prevent the secret object from rattling. Even with my earplugs, I didn’t want to take chances. My first true shake of my new treasure would happen at the proper time. (Fortunately, the museum alarms prevented a premature hearing. During the excitement I became a bit over-exuberant.) I’ve placed WHN in the center of my coffee table and for the first time I recognize the magnitude of what I’ve accomplished. Not the Liberation, but the replication that made the Liberation possible. Had I not known, I would have found it hard to believe that I now possess the original. It looks so much like my replica.
There was a brief moment in the museum when I held both in my hands. As I recall it, the moment seemed to open up and surround me in a timeless bubble, devoid of panic and alarms, free of necessity, empty except for myself, the readymade, and its replica. I saw myself look at one and then the other and even then I could not tell the difference between them. And then the air began to shimmer and a vision of Marcel Duchamp appeared. Marcel was dressed in long flowing robes that made him look like a gargantuan chess piece and in one hand he held the third original WHN. For the first time in 70 years all three originals were united again. Marcel smiled beatifically, like Jesus does in Sunday School paintings; he raised his empty hand to bless me and said: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. I am well pleased.”