Josh Ring
Josh Visits the Holocaust Museum, p. 2

6. Some of the exhibition was graphic. There were walls set up around the most disturbing parts of the exhibit so that you didn't have to look at it if you didn't want to. The wall was four feet tall so little children could not see over it. Some kids tried to jump or climb up the wall to see what everyone was looking at. Their parents took their hands and pulled them away. I took their spot next to the wall. I wanted to see that part. When I walked away, I looked at my feet. I put my hands in my pockets and clenched my fists. When I relaxed, my hands were sweaty. I let them hang at my sides to dry.

7. At the end of the exhibit, there is a bright room with an eternal flame. Behind the flame, the word Zachor is etched into the stone. It means, "remember." There was a sign by the door that said to be quiet because the room was a room for reflection. I saw a man lying down on a bench inside. His eyes were closed. I walked up to the flame in the front of the room. I could smell the gas of the flame. The heat warmed my face. I unzipped my sweatshirt as I left the room.

8. I walked down the steps to the main lobby. I did not see anyone from the group. I did not see my parents. I figured they were still in the exhibit. I did not remember passing them. I sat down on a bench facing the stairs. I would see them if they came down. The bench was made out of metal. It was hard. I shifted in my seat.

9. A while later, I asked a man what time it was. It was almost 5 o'clock. I looked outside a window. It was getting dark. The street lamps were turned on. I walked all around the ground floor of the lobby. I checked the gift store, and the floor beneath the lobby. I didn't find anyone. I checked some places twice. The group had left without me. They forgot me.

10. I walked outside the museum. When I opened the door the wind hit me in the face. I couldn't breathe for a second. I hailed a taxi and asked the cabby to take me to my hotel. The radio was on a news station. They were talking about the traffic report. Some bridge was jammed. I did not have to cross any bridges to get to my hotel. The cab cost $5.

11. When I got up to my room, I sat down on my bed. I called my parents room to tell them that I was back. I did not want them to worry. They yelled at me for not being in the museum lobby on time. I hung up the phone. My mom called me back right away to say that dinner would be in an hour. I hung up again and put my head on my pillow. I closed my eyes.

Image: James Ingo Freed, Sketch for US Holocaust Museum

More by Josh Ring:

The Subway January, 2003

Josh Gets his Book December, 2002

Josh Ring Gets a Ride November, 2002

A Cold Front Was Supposed to be Moving In October, 2002

Josh Goes to the Zoo September, 2002

Dogs August, 2002

Mermaids on Parade July, 2002

Josh Ring Supports Israel June, 2002

Josh Ring's Track Meet May, 2002

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