Exposition

by Robert McEvily

Whenever Julie sees a skull and its corresponding bones in a museum, she's struck by thoughts that make her not quite sad, but close. She imagines a year well into the future (2506, say) and thinks of herself - her remains, her skull and bones - in a glass case in a museum. She assumes human nature will remain unchanged, and assumes the basic tendencies of the people of the future will be the same as they are today, just as our basic tendencies are the same as the people of five hundred years ago. She thinks of future teenagers roaming the museum making jokes, of future children complaining of being tired, of future museum guards indifferent to all that surrounds them, of the museum after hours, her remains lying in darkness, surrounded by EXIT signs. Her final thought, always: the odd privilege of eternal rest in a museum, perhaps the lamest, most anonymous kind of fame. A fame unknown and unasked for by its subject, a fame barely perceived by its subject's audience.

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Robert McEvily, author of Don't Tell Jill and reviewer of Anonymous Lawyer, is the creator and senior editor of Six Sentences. He lives in New York City.