Have you ever dreamt of a fantastic place you had never been but somehow knew every detail?
* * *
“I am the only person in the world with this job,” the old man flipped down one of the many magnifiers causing the tiny brass gears on his eye piece to whir to life. He seems annoyed with your questions.
You fold your hands in your lap and stare at him silently as he examines a tiny glass orb with your childhood home recreated inside. Carefully he sits the orb down on a stand and nudges it toward you.
“Is it how you remember it?” he asks you in his hoarse old man voice coughing out the word ‘it.’
You lean close and take inventory of the place you grew up. Behind your reflection on the crystal clear glass you see the front porch where your Dad talked to you about girls. Mom’s failed botanical experiments hang from the white paint chipped railings as dry and barren as they always were. You can even make out the plush old blue Lazyboy in the front window that Grandpa used to sit at whenever he would visit.
You sigh quietly to yourself nodding, “It is.”
“Good,” the old man pushes a big yellow button on his desk causing a small door to open in the wall. A tiny cart attached to a tiny rail emerges like something out of Mr. Rogers trolley to the Land of Make Believe. Gently, his old leathery but practiced fingers lay the small orb into special grooves on the tiny cart securing it into place for the journey ahead to The Archive. You wonder how many times throughout history this exact ritual has been performed.
‘How many people have been called to this dark messy workshop to validate the memory of places that once were?’ you think to yourself.
He pushes the big yellow button again opening another small door at the end of the tiny rail. As you watch the tiny cart fade into that tiny black hole you wonder if you will ever see it again. Will anyone ever be able to make memories there they way you did? How could they now that it has been destroyed to make room for a Shopping Center?
The old man senses your growing concern as he has dealt with this hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands maybe even millions of times now. You turn to him as the little cart opening closes blending back into the smooth wall from which it was born leaving the tiny rail destined to a dead end.
Before you have a chance to speak the old man raises his hand in protest.
“Sleep on it,” he smiles and snaps his fingers but the sound of the crack in the air doesn’t end. It echoes as your vision fades to darkness with each pulse of sound.
* * *
Somewhere a writer is waking up. For months now he has been stuck on finding the perfect location for his new children’s book designed to teach wholesome family values.
He WAS stuck.
Danny Machal April 26th, 2015