#314: Fear and Storage

April 30th, 2014

I don’t care how much Prince you pipe in, storage spaces are creepy.

Long hallways lined with identical corrugated aluminum doors, each locked from the outside. Motion lights clicking on as you walk by doors you think you’ve passed before. They click off one by one as you turn down familiar corners you realize you’ve never seen.

Sometimes down a pastel hallway, you see a light on an section you know you haven’t been.

And a shrill wolf whistle comes from nowhere.

Yeah, pumping in “Raspberry Beret” isn’t going to cut down that shiver up your spine.

I push my cart of boxes and furniture. A shrill wolf whistle comes from nowhere.

“Hello?” I call.

No response.

I like the nothing places in Chicago, the darkened hallways, the blank walls in a converted camera factory. There’s so much place in this town, so much identity that a place that could be anywhere is almost remarkable.

I like the little mystery of a storage space, too. I want to go inside all these locked boxes, see the furniture and old love notes and toys and photos. I want to hop on the beds and poke through the yearbooks and play with all the fishing rods and camping gear.

I want to see what it is so many people want to keep but not have.

A shrill wolf whistle. A light clicks off behind. A shiver up the spine.

I packed my own corrugated aluminum box with my own secrets. Old furniture, boxes of mementos that wouldn’t mean a thing to anyone but me. Locked them away and walked off to the office area downstairs in the former camera factory.

I found the man who had signed me up for a space the day before.

“Hey,” I said. “There was like this shrill whistling upstairs.”

“Yeah, that’s the alarm,” he said.

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