Life in Storage
Having moved three times in one year, it's not surprising that some of our stuff is still in self storage. The type of storage where you drive your car up to a concrete block and raise a garage-like door. It feels like you’re doing something illegal or shady. It feels like entering a clandestine maze.
Yesterday my husband and I pulled up to our unit and retrieved some paper coffee cups. As we were leaving, I noticed a big heap of furniture piled in front of three king-sized units around the corner. The entire corridor was filled.
Whose stuff was this, and who were these people? Were they loading-in or loading-out? Was there a death in the family, or a default in payment? Were they hiding stolen goods? What a massive pile!
As we got closer, I thought I saw a glimpse of something white amidst the junk. I thought I saw four white table legs and a honey-finish top. The legs were a distinctive creamy white. Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk OC-8.
I knew that table. I was certain it had once been mine. I had chosen that particular shade of white to match my kitchen nook decor, and my husband had painted those once-black legs –
It was an attempt to make our last house feel more like a home.
The attempt had failed, as had many others.
In the end, we left the painted table behind, to be sold in an estate sale when we moved. We left everything that hadn’t worked. We wanted to purge our mistakes.
I turned my attention from the table to the rest of the junk in the corridor. As I looked more carefully, the drab colors became at once distinct and familiar. A red-oak hat stand, a bronze powdered-aluminum cocktail table, four espresso-brown wicker chairs...
The corridor was filled with our stuff! Furniture that didn’t sell at our estate sale. The stuff we left behind.
I was told the leftovers would be taken away by a flea-market-guy, and this must've been where he stashed his wares -
Just around the corner from our stash.
I guess our pasts are never really purged. Sometimes they just lurk in another alley of the maze.