Day 5: Time

The exhibits at the Museum of the Changing Past change every day. Not all of them, but enough that we find it worthwhile to go a couple of times a week. Lindsey and I both have memberships (I campaigned pretty hard to get mine as a birthday present). You’re only allowed to one guest per week per membership, but Joel comes with us so often, nobody really enforces the rule. It’s cool, being regulars and stuff, and it’s not like I’d want to just spend an afternoon with Lindsey, the coolest girl in the world in the coolest place in the world without my best friend. I mean, what would Lindsey and I do, kiss? Haha, that’s so stupid.

Queen Diana’s coronation jewels. The spacesuit of the first dinosaur on the moon. Elastica’s third album. Things that were never supposed to be, but time travel had made them possible. And for a day, maybe a week, they appear here, catalogued and observed, part of our history before somebody else changes the timeline.

Sometimes, we just sit in the hall of presidents and watch the wax figures switch back and forth. Bush Gore Bush Gore on a continual blink. Eugene V. Debs appearing and disappearing across multiple spots. William Henry Harrison alone never changing.

“Oh my god, Lindsey, remember what happened in history today? Kirk got so busted,” Joel laughs before finishing the story. The two of them share a lot of the same classes, and the same lunch period. Lindsey once told me they never sit together at lunch, but Joel is always telling stories of what happened in the cafeteria.

“I’m going to check out the Rock Room,” Lindsey announces. The Rock Room changes slower than others, literally altering at a glacier’s pace, and when it does, it’s just to add a new rock. Nothing ever disappears from it. Diamond’s are forever after all.

I go with her. We look at emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Floofium, cat diamonds, and pop rocks.

“I love this place, but sometimes it’s too much. You know our parents lived with the past more or less stable. Yeah, they’d revisit ideas. Realize that heroes were actually villains, but the actions were the same, just new context. So, it’s nice to be in a room where Googlenium is always Googlenium.”

“Yeah.”

If I close my eyes, I can remember our first kiss in this room. I can remember walking in on Lindsey and Joel’s first kiss in this room. I can remember fighting so angrily, that none of us ever came back to the museum again. I can remember a security guard playing air guitar so hard, and all of us laughing, swearing we’d never forget it. The Rock Room is not stable. The earth is not stable. There is so much past, I can no longer imagine the future.

There are more rooms to see. A new wing has been added.

“Oh my god, Lindsey, remember what happened in history today? I got so busted.”

In the Photo-torium, none of us even recognize our own faces in a framed Polaroid on the wall.

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