Human Resources says the sign in the elevator lobby. Turn left, and you are there. Me, I am the manager. The job is a front. My boss, the owner, likes it that way. Staff come to me to complain, I listen. I do nothing, and I do nothing well. The chronic office farter is nothing; the insatiable refrigerator bandit is nothing; the toilet paper origami fetishist is nothing. But sometimes, doing nothing is not enough to do. Those times, the trouble makers get disappeared and sent to the owner's condominium, third parking level down, where the storage locker lock up has been converted into a dungeon.
Even before you get to the door, there is the smell. More turned milk than death. Offensive, but not frightening. Inside the door, another door. This one has a defaced election poster for Justin Trudeau. There is a puddle of liquid on the floor. That is how you know you are there. Until you are there, you, maybe, to protect your sanity that first time, can refuse to believe that people are locked up, down there. Sanity is a luxury, you realize.
Beyond the second door, it just looks like a storage locker lock up. The walls are concrete block, there are uprights of steel with webbing of chain link fence. The smell is worse, like a homeless guy on the subway. Just a few steps in you see the first guy, in locker 104. No, he is not some fellow condo occupant, looking for his camping gear. No. He is the guy that the owner hates. Remember him? He kept taking other people's parking spots last winter. Then he pissed on the owner's car. The owner showed me the security footage. The occupant of storage space 104 pissed (in below freezing weather) all over the passenger keyhole of the owner's car. That was then; now he sits on a nest of stained cardboard, his hair unwashed and uncut from the date of February 14th, when he came down here, rolled up in a carpet. I helped carry him down the stairs; I have not seen him since then. Until today. Thursday, June 27th.
For the next thirty days, I have to stop by and feed 104 in storage. The boss is on vacation, so he said in his voice mail. He sent me the keys to the storage in a manila envelope in inter office mail. I had forgotten about what's his name in 104. I forgot what's his name's name, too. The note inside the envelope does not mention names, just four smaller envelopes with storage food budget - week one through four. Four envelopes of money; one set of keys. No name.
What's his name remembers my name. No, I tell him, I am not here to rescue him. No, the rescue people are not coming, I tell him. They are not coming because some pig had parked in their parking space, so they had to go back to rescue headquarters. Maybe the next shift. What's his name, 104, gets really angry.
I gave him a three pound bag of carrots, to eat. The carrots will be good for his eye sight in that dark place. With the money I saved from the food budget, I bought a strawberry ice crème cone, topped with chocolate and drizzled with nuts.
I, Fenris Badwulf, wrote this. I care.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
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