When I moved in with my boyfriend, we thought it was going to be a temporary thing. My previous roommate was moving in with someone else, and I didn’t quite have the funds needed to rent my own apartment in Los Angeles. But moving into a studio with a guy and a dog meant the majority of my things have been sitting in a storage unit for what has added up to be over a year now.
And every month, an email from the storage company pops up in my inbox, and every month I delete it. It’s a newsletter. A monthly newsletter from a storage unit. And sometimes I like to picture what the email would say if it were written by my own personal belongings.
Thursday, January 8th, 2015: 478 Days Since Daylight
Sometimes the faint clatter of a metal lock startles me awake. I strain my eyes through the blackness, as if focusing on the light coming in beneath the door will help me make out the sound. Are the footsteps growing nearer, or fading away? I sometimes pass the minutes wondering whether you’ll ever come back, or if we’ll be in here for good. I sometimes wonder if there’s any point to anything anymore.
The soft imprint of your body as you laid down on me to sleep. The comfort I felt in knowing you were always happy to see me at the end of a long day. I’ll never forget the first day we met, when you picked my box up from the shelf and dragged me onto the kart. I was impressed a girl of your stature was able to maneuver me from that Burbank Ikea into the back of your crappy little car, and drive me all the way to your little apartment. You put me together with such care, such a gentle touch. And when you finally put Mattress onto me and Sheets and Pillows, I knew we were complete, like a family.
Bedspread still tears up when I tell that story. He’s tearing up now and has told me to stop.
When you met The Guy, I knew things would change. You stopped spending the night, and as the weeks grew into months, Lamp said what we were all thinking. Things were going to be different from then on.
You came to visit a few months ago. Or a year ago. Sometimes I lose track. You seemed distracted, rushed, as you pulled back the door with a clang. I could hardly believe you were back, and I was nearly blinded by the light streaming through the blackness, illuminating all of us who so eagerly awaited your return. But you seemed absent-minded as you rifled through Box, searching for something, but we knew not what.
Finally, when you shut Box with a sigh and placed him back upon Toaster, I had that sinking feeling that you weren’t taking us home. You were only here to find something, some lucky thing you needed, but you didn’t, so you left.
You looked older, but at the same time just like I remembered you. Your shoulder length chestnut brown hair was longer and darker, a pair of loose jeans rolled up to your ankles and a plain t-shirt. I wondered if you remembered Fleece, who had been waiting for you inside Bag ever since you packed us up in here. Those Wisconsin winters he tells me about, when you really needed him, are long since past.
The door slid shut and my heart sank as I heard the lock click. And your footsteps drew quieter and quieter as you retreated back down the hall. The elevator doors slid open, then closed, and you were gone. We were drenched in silence once again.
I hold onto that thought as I write you now, days, weeks, months later, and I wonder if we ever cross your mind. The box of Silverware you so lovingly used in college. Stereo you used to play at full volume while cleaning your room and dancing in your pajamas. And Desk, where you sat to apply your makeup in the morning light, and placed your computer on to type late into the night.
Sometimes I wonder if we’re just going to gather dust, if we’ll ever be unloaded into a new, bright, white apartment where you’ll lovingly unbox us and tell us you’ll never leave us, never forget about us, that you’re sorry and we’re all back together for good. But that’s something that is getting harder and harder to believe in.
Storage Unit 551