Tales of the Storage Space, Part 16

The Storage Space was more than appalled.  It was…  It was…

This was serious.  Not since that night long ago that…

But never mind.  The Storage Space had decided never to think of that again.

Edward!

No, the Storage Space simply would not deign to think of such things.

Karen!

Alas, alas…  But buildings simply could not cry.  First, and foremost really, it was so undignified.  But it was also impossible.

Besides another woman was caressing the magnificent old wood carvings surrounding the Storage Space’s entrance, though this one was…  The Storage Space would have wrinkled its nose in distaste if only it had a nose.  This woman was old, very old.  Still there was a fineness about her features, or at least what could be seen of them with that…rag wrapped around her head.  And what on earth was she wearing?  It looked like a whole collection of rags, accented by what appeared to be a…tablecloth.  What did they call bums now?  Homeless?  Really.  The “modern” world.  All that “politically correct” verbiage when it came to the riff raff.  It was just too tiresome.

Talking to herself now.  How dreadfully typical.  Some youths across the street had stopped to laugh and point at her.  The poor, long-suffering Storage Space tried to ignore her, but the rich timbre of her voice was startlingly familiar:  Strong, without ever being harsh or crass.  Pure.  Sweet, but not cloying or mopishly sentimental.  Lyrical wording.  Artfully controlled rhythm.  Almost as if she didn’t speak her words but sang them.  The Storage Space couldn’t help but listen, only to discover that, as this deplorable ragamuffin caressed the wooden carvings, she was reciting random lines from what the Storage Space recognized as a poem by William Butler Yeats:

“When you are old and grey and full of sleep.”

One of the youths on the opposite sidewalk threw something at her, but it missed.

“How many loved your moments of glad grace.”

Another youth approached her, catlike.

“But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you.”

A few more, whispering, crossed the street.

She gazed up at the stars with a winsome, enigmatic, Mona-Lisa smile.  The rag around her head fell back, revealing all her face.  The Storage Space would have gasped in recognition, if only a building could gasp in recognition.  It was the face of someone long dead.  Beautifully sculpted still, despite her being something like 70 years old.

But just then all the youths reached her.  Snickering, they formed a ring around her and started to kick.

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