A place about the past


The Hollywood Walk of Fame is packed with tourists as always. Everything here is the opposite of what it is supposed to be—stars on the ground, super-heroes busy taking photos, theaters not screening any movie. There are three Captain America(s) standing beside one tourist bus. People are excited about no particular reasons. This is probably the least ideal location for a museum of broken relationships, but there it is. The bright French windows isolate the museum from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. The odd tranquility pervades through the whole space.

It was supposed to be melancholy, but the light was bright, the color was fresh, and the stories were filled with ardent love. In this sense, the museum seems to match the strange vibe of the neighborhood. These heartbroken people, when recalling the moments they spent with the beloved ones, they use words like crazy, happy, never before, and not anymore. I was struck by how many details were involved in these stories  the color of dress for the last meeting, the brand of wine that they once drank, the plots of movies that they watched together. The unhappy endings could barely ruin the beautiful moments the two of them experienced together.

For others, the memories attached to the exhibits are less lovely. They just try to forget the disgraceful relationships by donating the items reminding them of the past. There was a piece of silicone breast. The donator did the plastic surgery to keep her boyfriend stay. She endured several surgeries due to allergy, but he left anyway in the end. She took it out and donated it to the museum to tell other girls that you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you. Farewell to the past can be inspirational as well because they learn lessons from that. 

My favorite item, however, has nothing to do with breaking up with others. It is a little Peter Pan Plush Toy from a 50-year-old man. He bought this for himself on his 25th birthday as a reminder to keep the little boy inside alive. When he realized that his dreams were rotten away, imagination drained out, and passion burnt down, he decided to send away this toy because that little boy was dead. He grew up. This is the only exhibit in the whole museum made me sad genuinely. Aging is dreadful because people do not dream anymore. Saying goodbye to someone takes lots of courage; saying goodbye to oneself takes more.

This is not the place about breakups; this is the place about the past. Whether it was beautiful, awful, or shameful, it is sealed in every one of the exhibits there. I don’t know if by donating these things away, people can escape from the memories, though.


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