The Storage Space was quite astonished to find itself pondering, of all things, the city of San Francisco. The Storage Space knew it existed, of course, some rough space where an unemployed gold miner…so uncouth that he referred to himself as “Jack” instead of John…fancied himself literary because he told a story about a dog going wild.
Really it was too, too much! All so tiresomely absurd.
But the real question was, why was it even deigning to think of such a muddy camp?
And why, pray tell, was the San Francisco it envisioned no longer muddy?
And why, pray tell, did it somehow find this new San Francisco, of all things…comforting?
Utterly perplexed, the Storage Space concentrated. Windows. Huge windows that covered entire walls. It was envisioning this New San Francisco through windows from across a bay. A simile came to mind, something about the fog marching between its towering spires of glass like fuzzy giants on an old projection TV. But it didn’t know what a projection TV was.
Sorry, bad simile.
The Storage Space would have leaped out of its skin, if only a building could leap. If only a building had skin. For those three words about the simile had not been spoken aloud. Nor, as was all too tragically customary in this place, were they the thoughts of a…it was loath to even think of such things…ghost. Nor did they have anything to do with whatever Le Grand Rat was doing in the hall.
But they were from someone alive, alive but who must somehow be very sympathetic to the poor, long-suffering Storage Space, such a profoundly sympathetic soul that it could actually hear…her.
It was that Karen. Perhaps it was hearing her thoughts because she’d been there for so long. Perhaps it was hearing her thoughts because she…unlike the others…had depth.
Again the Storage Space would have leaped out of its skin, if only a building could leap. If only a building had… But, never mind. What was this? A horrible, sickening wave of self-recrimination was washing over it, something about that horrid Martin…naked. The Storage Space would have shuddered, if only a building… But, never mind. Now there was piercing pain, something it had never experienced like this, as if it was some kind of animal with soft skin. And now there were tears, as if it was capable of producing fluid, and a whole torrent of soft, animal-based memories.
The Storage Space would have done its very, very best to think of something else…anything else…but those soft, animal-based memories were delicious. Feeling the sun on an arm. Running fingers over thick velvet. Giggling. Then they were gone.
I betrayed everything I am. I caused someone’s death.
The pain was excruciating this time. If only a building could cry out, if only a building could say, No, you didn’t. Everything you are is still inside you.
“Really?” She asked it aloud this time.
More soft memories. Digging toes into warm sand. The sun setting in…was that the Pacific Ocean?
But suddenly all softness was gone as the door to her storage unit rattled open further. Le Grand Rat!
“Who’s in there?”