The night was abuzz with life around me in the city that never sleeps. The honking of hundreds of yellow cabs and thousands of tourists still milling around should have made me more relaxed but my heart was pumping double time. I always wanted to do this. I had to do this. A deep breath later and feeling a bit calmer, I began to ascend the great staircase towards the entrance. The Metropolitan Museum of Art towered majestically above me. I stopped in front of the large doors and looked at the key in my hand. A friend working in the museum got me this key. I shouldn’t be here. I was about to trespass. But I had to do it. Once in my life I had to be inside the empty museum after dark. I had to know if the feeling I had when I was a child was real. I had to know if everything inside came to life when no humans were present.
I walked left to the small staff entrance door and turned the key in the lock. As soon as I entered, I disabled the alarm as my friend taught me. The sounds from outside muted to an almost silence as the door closed behind me. This was it.
I took out my flashlight, although I could see dim lighting in some places, and walked into the belly of the building. Silence was complete here. Men and women on Rembrandt’s and Titian’s paintings stared down at me, watching me, waiting to see how I would disturb their peace. Roden’s Eternal Kiss marble lovers were locked in their eternal embrace. The gods of Egypt seemed to whisper and reach out to me. But it was only my imagination. No movement or sound penetrated this sacred space – the sacred space of masters and geniuses and their creations.
|Eternal Kiss by Rodin|
“Are you sure you want to know our secrets?”
Her smile was stunning and enigmatic. And suddenly I had a feeling I will never leave this museum.