A Home for my Stuff

Wow! According to a recent slew of emails, I’m rich! I just need to send a bunch of money to a widow somewhere in the Middle East so she can come and share her fortune with me. I’ve won a half-dozen sweepstakes. And google wants to share its profits with me. Is that all? Hmmm. No. There was the gentleman who . . . well, never mind what he wanted.

It’s a good thing I have all these riches coming to me by email. I just found a home for my stuff that will cost about as much as my first apartment. It’s a nice place, lovely views, close to a garden, far from the highway, with good neighbors. Mostly seniors, or so the manager said. Too bad my stuff is inanimate and won’t have any idea how well I’m looking out for it.

fearI chose a space, smaller than I wanted, but with better insulation, and facing away from the wind and summer sun. It was also more than I wanted to pay, but the cheaper indoor storage units were downright creepy. The first one the woman showed me used to be an outside unit, but because of problems with rain, they had to build a wall to enclose the spaces. It was dark and oh, so dungeony! I could almost see hear the clanking chains and raspy calls for help.

The second space she showed me was bigger and brighter. Too bright. The narrow hall was covered with something that looked like white enamel, the expanse only broken by the cracks delineating the doors. I had to hold my breath when she unlocked the door lest the smell of formaldehyde from the rotting bodies within would assault my tender nose. No bodies, of course. At least not in that unit. I have no idea what was stored in any of the other units, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of illegal operations of the medical variety being performed within.

If this were a fairy tale, the third space would have been just right, but as grim as the adventure was to that point, it wasn’t one of Grimm’s. Although this space had a drive-up entrance, it had no insulation and faced the summer sun, and the resulting heat would have melted my china. (If I had any china, that is.) Wind blew dust into the space as we stood there, her looking expectantly at me, me trying not to look at the shady fellows lounging by the pickup three doors down.

Luckily, there was a fourth option.

So now my stuff has a home, or it will be when it’s safe inside. I’m not so settled. I do have a couple of offers of emergency bivouacs, but nothing more permanent than that. Some people are still trying to find me a place because they don’t want me to leave. Others seem to be rushing me on my way so I can fulfill their dreams of wondrous adventures. Even the songs that follow me in grocery stores and restaurants seem to be nudging me to leave. “You say you want to start something new . . . take good care . . . It’s a wild world . . .”

Even though I have but two weeks left in this house, I’m still taking it a day at a time, enjoying the comfort and luxury available to me while I’m waiting for all those sweepstakes and wealthy Middle Eastern widows to pay off.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

8 Responses to “A Home for my Stuff”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Whatever happens, good luck.

  2. frederick anderson Says:

    Yup, I think Rami’s just about covered it for me, too. All the best, and beware of Nigerian bankers whose fathers died intestate.

  3. Kathy Says:

    I usually find those theme songs, too, when I’m about to move on. Exciting! I have no idea what I would do in your shoes. Something to be said for leaving and for staying. Very curious.

  4. leesis Says:

    I know some folks facing a situation like this…even when they wanted the change…swing through emotional moments of excitement/fear, confidence/despair that can be exhausting. Thinking of you Pat; excited for you for whatever your choice it will finally be YOUR choice. And that is a good moment. Sending love :).

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Luckily, I have more moments of confidence than fear, otherwise it would be exhausting. It helps to know that this is just the first of many choices. If I stay, it doesn’t have to be permanent. If I head out on the road, it can be of short duration. Nothing is forever, bad or good, which helps. And so does your continued support. Thank you.

  5. Pat Bertram Says:

    Thank you all for your good wishes. I appreciate it more than you know.

  6. Constance Says:

    Isn’t it an adventure looking for storage units in the Hi Desert. Glad that you found a decent one.
    Traveling could be fun. We would all miss you. But, you could come back after your travels.

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