Monday, March 21, 2011

Nostalgic Man Visits Old Storage Locker

BOULDER, CO - Driving up to the gate, Edward Vargas stopped, gazing at the fence. "Years ago they didn't have razor wire, just a nine-foot chain link fence. So that's new." After parking, the 40-year-old Vargas entered the office of the Rocky Mountain Storage Center. After 15 years, he had returned to take a peek at his old locker. Several minutes passed before Vargas convinced a puzzled Russian clerk that he didn't want to rent a unit, just visit his old one. At last Vargas and I took an elevator up to the second level. Feet echoing on the wooden floor, we walked down to a corrugated metal door No. 256. Secured with twin padlocks, the door resisted Vargas' half-hearted tugs. "Of course it's not going to open. You need a key. I was just hoping to see inside again." Seventeen years earlier Vargas had gotten married. His wife ordered him to dump all his old furniture including movie theater seats, an old Pac-Man video game and numerous boxes of cassettes including White Lion's Greatest Hits. "It was different back then. You got to know your locker neighbors. There was a really cute girl in No. 254. I tried flirting but both her parents had committed suicide and she was storing some of their old stuff so that went nowhere. It was all innocent anyway." According to Vargas, he visited his belongings for two years until his wife discovered a Rocky Mountain Storage Center invoice in a pair of his slacks. "She went nuts, hissing like a rat. 'I told you to pitch that crap two freaking years ago! What happened to my words? Did they bounce off your fat ears?' Blah, blah, blah. And my ears aren't fat." Finally compelled to empty the unit, Vargas occasionally drove past on his way to work as a fire extinguisher supervisor. Though the years lengthened, his memories never dimmed. "Those were formative times," said Vargas as we walked back toward the elevator. "Maybe in five years I'll try and get a reunion going; see if I can find 254 on Facebook. She might know where to find 258 and 263 and some of the others. We could meet in a bar. But no wives or husbands. Or is that creepy?" (Image: Frugal Reality)

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