Friday, January 25, 2013

A Calm Exterior.....

A calm exterior often masks a chaotic interior. Let me explain.

We have rented for a short time, I hope, a storage facility nearby to help us clear out the house and reorganize our space. My eldest has just finished four years of Art college and we have run out of walls on which to display his paintings. However, we still have stacks of canvases "hanging" around so to speak.

The initial trip to the facility was easy. We paid our money, got our codes, bought a lock and were shown our 5' x 10' space - on the fourth floor, somewhere on a grid of interconnected halls ....and... halls of lockers, which all looked the same. Fortunately their numbering system was fairly logical and my visual orientation not too bad, such that with a just few wrong turns, we could finally find our particular locker again.

The storage area is a sterile environment. On the outside it is serene, organized, emotion-free, possibly the antithesis of the chaos within each unit. Most of the lockers are rented by families relocating because of work, divorce, death or in our case - a transfer, as in transferring our mess inside our house to one of these tidy boxes.

I know what you see when you unlock our unit.  It's probably the same for other units. Behind this calm exterior is a mother lode of emotional angst - old photographs, mementos from loved ones now gone, children's toys, wedding dresses, gifts that can't be given away, equipment for crafts or sports that one "will come back to."

It's the physical equivalent of mentally not being able to "give up," not being able to "move on."  This is why I am hoping that the locker is a temporary solution to eventually dealing with what has to go, because it also costs money!!

In fact, as clean and organized as the building may seem, it is very eerie. I am usually on my own when I take things over to the unit. I rarely see anyone there.  I really feel much safer, if a few people are loading or unloading their belongings, when I'm dropping off my "stuff." At least, if I call for help, someone will hear me.

It's the days when not a soul is around, that the halls moan. The void is pregnant with a fear, that slowly grows. I fumble with the lock. The shriek of the door as it opens, takes my breath. I drop a box of ornaments. The echo shatters on the far walls. Now, they know I'm here. I work quickly. My mind is so busy shutting out the horror, that I don't see the shadow at first, it moves; I freeze.

"Is everything alright?" a voice says.


  1. I've considered this myself - our son is a glassblower and several years of school means we have glass everywhere AND many container of glass. Beautiful and heavy - one can only dispay so much before you feel you should charge admission for a tour!

  2. Remember Silence of the Lambs and Jodi Foster having to crawl under the door of the storage locker...

  3. Yes, walking toward the storage facility is usually pretty eerie that is for sure. I seen many business owners with their goods stored there and many others storing their personal belonging. Then there are those who never return again for their possessions and the storage facility have to break open lots and clear out the space to be auctioned off. Imagine if the storage facility could talk and the stories they tell you.

  4. Storage units exist for many who just are not ready to let go. Does it cost? Yes, but when and if you are ready you'll let it go.