Gift Shop (Waiting)

He was standing alone in the gift shop at the Air and Space Museum, waiting, surrounded by objects and people, wearing his best pink shirt. He wasn’t sure what else he should have worn. When people asked, he said it was salmon, because technically it was true.

While he waited, he read "fun facts" off of thick little grey-white cards that he had found scattered in trays around the store. The SR-71 Blackbird is considered the world’s fastest operational jet-powered aircraft… Globe is derived from the Latin… In October 1957, the "beep, beep" from the orbit of Sputnik, the first satellite, was truly heard around the world…

He briefly wondered why, out of all the massive things involved in every massive event, people always chose to focus on the small things. Small steps, short beeps, big blue dots. He kept waiting.

Maybe he should buy something, a souvenir or something. There were paperweight Earths, Smithsonian baseballs, Solar System marbles. All small things for sale. And then there was him, on the diamond-plate walkway, waiting, waiting, waiting in his salmon-pink shirt, and then… he saw a sign.

Visit the clearance sale section on the lower floor.

He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He glanced around, and he spied a Newton’s cradle, and he felt very tired, and he wished that he could rest, just for a moment, but he knew he had to wait.