Tales of the Storage Space, Part 111

The Storage Space considered the occupants of its lobby.  Most assuredly a lesser-evil choice of where to squander its attention but at least a shred better than watching some cop interrogate a drunk.  Or worrying about those now-only-occasional slithers.  Or…

Hadn’t anyone the least grounding in the theatre these days?  Did it take an inanimate object, a building no less, to spot the jealousy all over he of the rainbow shoes and remarkable collection of suitcases?  Or that the object of that ridiculously overacted jealousy was the pregnant teenager’s father, who had his arm wrapped around that equally ridiculous Fifi of the Pink Hair?

Who the fuck cares?

The Storage Space was no longer aghast at such language.  But it was determined not to squander its attention on such.  Or…

None of them dumb shits ever played their cards right!

The Storage Space ignored the slithering.  Or the temptation to deign to squander its attention on a sharp response.  Or…

It reattached its attention firmly to the occupants…the still-alive occupants…of the lobby.

That Fifi creature was chattering away madly to the teenager’s father about, as far as the Storage Space could tell, absolutely nothing.  The smile plastered to the father’s face looked like pancake make-up dissolving under bright lights.  Finally he snapped out something about letting him go, that he had something important to do.  Then he jerked back from Fifi, telegraphing to such an obvious degree that he was about to hit her…or him, or whatever Fifi was…that any director would have told him to find a new job in vaudeville.

Didn’t any one see it?  Other than…just maybe…Rainbow Shoes?

But then the teenager’s father caught himself, plastered his smile back on with an apology to Fifi, and left her in the lobby as he clattered up the stairs to Unit 38.

I repeat, who the fuck cares?

The Storage Space was caught off-guard this time, its attention broken.  It’s better, it found itself answering, than thinking of you.  Or…  Or…

And then it all came crashing down, like that beloved tea room long since gone, and the Storage Space knew what that “or” it had been avoiding was.  It was better than thinking of Karen.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 110

Hank choked back a few sobs, a sure sign that he needed another drink, and fumbled for his bottle with shaking hands.  That data stick he’d found after they took that pregnant teenager out fell out of his pocket first.  It clattered all over the floor just as a cop showed up.

“Who’d you steal that from?” the cop spat in disgust, scooping up the data stick and sticking it into…what were them things called?…a tablet.

Hank didn’t care.  He’d only vaguely thought he might be able to sell it to someone in exchange for a few bucks toward his next bottle.  What Hank cared about was that this cop, who’d been sniffing around the storage space building all day, probably wouldn’t take kindly to Hank’s taking a swig of liquor.

“Elections R Us,” the cop read off his screen.  “Serving the greater good since 2001.  A Florida-based corporation.”  He yanked the data stick out of his tablet and threw it at Hank, hitting him square in the face.

It stung, just missing his eye, but again Hank didn’t care.  It didn’t sting anywhere near as bad as the memories of a lifetime of defeat that were his only reward for sobriety.

“Not possible in this fair land,” the cop snorted, still looking at the data stick.  “Bad joke.”  Now he was looking at Hank again.  “But you look like you’ve sobered up nicely since I first saw you this morning.  So I have a few questions.”

Hank now had his hand on the promised land, his bottle.  “I…I need a drink!”

“Not till after you’ve answered my questions.  Because of recent developments in San Francisco we’re re-opening an investigation into a disappearance and possible homicide here.  We’re in the process of ruling out homicide due to our failure to find any evidence of a body, but we need to locate a blonde woman named Karen for interrogation.”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 109

Karen couldn’t stop screaming, even though they must have taken that man who’d been jerking off out of her room when she’d passed out, yet again, at the sight of…

Frank, her Frank!  All this time she’d thought she had to forgive him for a murder he hadn’t committed, because, somehow, that skinny, effeminate, little Brit Martin must have turned the tables on Frank and it was Frank who was…

Karen screamed and screamed until a nurse finally came in.

Frank!  Dead!  Endless memories of their making love in his apartment in Sausalito cut through her like a swarm of knives.  For all the pain of thinking he was mad at her, for all the pain of thinking she would never see him again, none of this was anything at all compared to the finality of his being…really, actually…dead.

She screamed one long, loud, endless scream.  Vaguely she noticed that the nurse was preparing an injection.

Dead!  It was only in the face of Frank’s death that Karen realized that no matter how convinced she was that she would never see him again there had always been at least a teeny chance for something she now realized could not possibly happen ever, not even in her dreams.

The nurse was fiddling impatiently with her IV and dropped something that shattered on the floor. “Will you please stop screaming?”

Vaguely Karen remembered something she’d read off her phone once about this being the worst hospital in the city.

“That ‘transsexual’ sick perv, who is an affront against the Lord Jesus Christ, is gone,” continued the middle-aged nurse.  “So you have nothing to scream about.”

Something must have gotten into her IV, a lot of something, because Karen could feel herself losing consciousness what struck her as way too fast.  She thought she heard herself mumbling something about how that wasn’t a real transgender person, only a “sick perv” of a heterosexual man.

“Okay, this time I’m going to get an injection in your IV, and this time it’s enough to knock out an elephant.  Not spending the rest of my shift listening to this nonsense!”

Karen felt like she was on an elevator that’s cables had just snapped and was now plummeting down a hundred stories.  Her last thought was for Frank.  Whether or not he’d ever forgiven her or she’d ever seen him again, how unbearable that he had lost his life.