Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stuffed Animals

Tomorrow I am going to the museum again. Its a certain natural history museum that I have spent hours dreaming in as a visitor with my torn admission ticket shoved in the pocket of my pilled green fleece jacket. Hours marveling at the hall of biodiversity in all of its successive pinned butterfly loveliness, hours trying to stare deeply into the stiff and creepy glass eyes of a stuffed mammal, hours being drowned by the natural world and loving it. But I am not a visitor anymore.

I was in the mammals collection last week. Big metal cabinets were unlocked for me and inside of them were shallow and wide flat file shelves with tiny manila boxes on them. On the boxes were tags that read: Museum of Natural History with the species name written on them in perfect pencil script, the date they were collected, and where. Inside of the boxes were bones, skulls of primates, teeth of primates, fingers and toes and you name it. Also on the shelves were the stuffed animals, many of them. There was absolutely no one around, just me, the metal cabinets, the bones, the dust and the furry adorable has-beens all lined up like dead soilders in the drawer.

There was natural light coming through the window and onto the wide marble sill just like you would expect it to look inside of that museum, it was around 11am and the room was romantically dim. I had a cold and I was hungry and didnt want to make too much noise rattling opening the cabinets, so I didnt really enjoy myself as much as I think I did. But I am going back tomorrow, without my admission ticket and with a clearer head.

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