Historical Society

Glenn Shaheen


There is a great celebration. Researchers have just discovered that at some point in the 13th Century two years were misplaced on the Roman Calendar. It was a confusing time. The Western World was ravaged by wars, disease, famine, and maybe Robin Hood if he was even real. It was nearly apocalyptic and somewhere, somehow two years got skipped and only now has a historical society realized the error of the past. It's agreed upon that the years will be turned back, and it's 2012 again. Everybody gets a second chance. A kid in Georgia reenrolls in school as an interpretive dance major rather than a biochemistry major. After an accustation-filled breakup, two Minnesotan lovers reunite and eat manicotti at their old favorite restaurant, although when they first dated it used to be a Thai place. A cab driver returns all his Christmas gifts for store credit. The government proclaims a week of celebration and feasting. Two years from now everybody will be filled with great dread. They will have squandered everything, all their new chances. The checks will have been written, sent, and deposited. The lawyer who spent both new years stoned on his son's weed will check his stash box over and over again, but it will always be empty, a little ballerina spinning to a terminally slow Swan Lake. Everybody will claim disgust at even being given the two years to begin with. They will ask what difference a date's numbers mean, why the government even bothered to listen to the researchers. Still, every time they click on the news they will hope the historical society will have found two more years. Or even just one. A day. Anything they can do over and make actually count this time.