The Museum of Moments

Welcome to the Museum of Moments.

Yes, we’re open. Come in, please. No, we’re not new to the neighborhood. The museum has always been here. Yes, it is strange that you’ve never noticed us before. Shall we call it luck? Fate then. Yes, I prefer that, too.

Call me Moira.

We require a donation to browse the collection. We can discuss that on your way out, though. Come, let me show you around.

I admit, it doesn’t look like much. You can’t see these things the way I do. I can help, though. As the curator, I have an intimate understanding of the collection. There’s more to the museum than seeing, of course. It’s one experience after another.

Yes, it is a rather eclectic collection. I pride myself on the variety here. It’s taken some while to put all these things together.

No, it’s just me. My sisters, they weren’t interested to help with this endeavor. No, we don’t really get along. They like each other well enough. They’ll get together for coffee on some neutral ground to discuss the problem of the middle child – that would be me, of course. They just don’t see things as I do.

To them, this is all junk. Discarded pieces of lives half lived, no resolution, no genesis, only middles. That, of course, is the point.

Ah, I see you begin to understand: everything is middles! Aisa will claim that it’s all the beauty of decay and the virtue of entropy, and when Chloe can stop reinventing herself long enough to talk she natters on about how nothing ever really ends and it’s all just beginnings.

They’re the same at heart, you know. A pair of snakes eating each other’s tails. Family. You know how it is.

Well, they have their paradigm shifts and I have my museum. It’s fine. I preserve. I save. Some people kill time, but I save it, every day.

Now, let’s share a little more, shall we?

Are you a literary fan? Do you like Shakespeare, that old crowd pleasing scribbler? I have here a paper imbued with exactly 1003 moments of his time. Not all of it is writing time, of course, but a few of the moments are, and there are singular moments of inspiration, as well. He did his best thinking in the privy.

This? This is a seashell with half of Julius Caesar’s life in it. It was all I could manage to gather, but it includes every embrace he shared with Brutus. They were very close, you know. This one takes a while to appreciate, though, and I don’t think you have that kind of time today.

Of course it’s not all famous people! Don’t be ridiculous. This is the Museum of Moments, not a monument to what humanity considers greatness. I just understand the appeal of the names, the draw of the familiar. Me, I think they’re all precious, all worth saving. The third breath a child draws, the seventh heartbeat after a betrayal, the forty-second time a lover whispers your name, the ninth time you tasted an apple. They’re the middle of the story, of every story. They’re the thread drawn out that draws you in. And they’re mine.

Over here is a cup, filled with the moments Da Vinci lost. No, there aren’t many. He was a very careful sort. Not apt to discard or shed moments like so much trash, the way people do today. It’s disgusting, if you can see it. So much time, going to waste. There goes another moment now, the lunch you had two Thursdays ago, gone. It just rolled off you and away, onto the floor. Better here than out there, anyway. Here it can join the others.

If I could, I would open your eyes to the rest of the collection, the moments piled in drifts all around this room. I have not yet found the right vessels for these pieces of time, the right framing object. Humans need a physical thing, an anchor, to feel the real weight of a moment. It’s a particular and peculiar failing. Still, I will find the right things to fill with these moments. I have all the time in the world, and objects are discarded almost as often as moments these days.

I could tell you how it used to be. How my sisters and I were honored, once. Respected. Feared. Things change, as my sisters never tire of reminding me. We were never understood. It’s strange, how people can twist the word “responsible” up in their minds to mean something altogether ridiculous. I take it seriously, though. I am responsible.

I could take them all, you know. I have been tempted. And when oblivion comes from all the missing middles, the inbetweens slipped between the cracks and into my waiting gentle fingers, placed carefully into my collection, then my sisters would see. Then they, too, would understand. Oh yes, it is indeed all one continuum, one long breath drawn in, one long exhale out. There is no beginning. There is no end. There are only middles. And they are all mine.

Oh stop looking at me like that. I said I’m responsible. I may take some liberties. It could even be argued that I am a thief, but I am no betrayer. Whatever I am, whatever you call me, I will not bring an end to everything. That’s Aisa’s job, anyway. Just ask her, she’ll tell you all about it.

Now, it’s time you were going. I can see you’re done with me. You think me quite mad, despite the wonders you’ve experienced here. That’s fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. Of course, I am entitled to something, too. Before you go, there is the matter of that donation we spoke of. It will only take a moment or two…

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