TIME-SPACE MINI-STORAGE

Evelyn was standing waist-deep in a pile of black clothes when I walked into the bedroom. She seemed almost lost in the gargantuan explosion of bras and panties, sweaters and skirts. I laughed.

“Let me know if you need someone to pull you out,” I chided. She barely noticed. We had a banquet to go to and she, as usual, was very concerned about constructing the perfect outfit and looking just right. Barely glancing at me, she smirked and continued her frenzied search. I left the room saying, “If you fall in, just yell. I’ll call a search party.”
I walked into the living room and plopped down onto the couch. I stretched my legs out onto the ottoman before me and spread my arms like wings, letting them float down slowly onto the backrest of the red velvet sofa.

Space.
There was so much of it now.

In the twenties, just a mere decade ago, I would never have dreamed that I’d live so luxuriously. Well, our apartment hadn’t gotten any bigger, that’s not what I mean. It’s not like we won the lottery and moved into a mansion or anything. We were still artists living in a smallish, one-bedroom New York City apartment. It was just the luxury of the newfound space we enjoyed now that everything was put away. Our beautiful baroque couch for instance. It’s never been very practical. The baroque era was certainly not known for its efficient use of space. On the contrary, this couch like so many other baroque couches, took up a good amount of space and yet very little of it provided room for comfortable sitting. It seemed like a good deal of it was flourishes and filagree, pomp and ornamentation. I loved it. But we would never have had room for it before. Just two feet to my left there used to be a cabinet that held some awards I had won at the start of my career. A mere foot to my right there was a lamp I’d inherited from my grandfather. It sat on an old drafting table that also held a dusty computer that was more paperweight than anything else. Where my feet peacefully rested on an ottoman, there used to be a small coffee table I had covered in a collage made of some of my early drawings. And now it was all gone. Put away.
A telltale tinging sound came from the bedroom followed by that strangely musical sucking noise. I knew now that she would emerge impeccably dressed and that the bedroom would be immaculate and completely free of clothes. And so it was. She appeared and stopped in the doorway. With one hand on her hip and an outstretched arm holding her weight against the door frame she seductively purred, “What do you think?”

“You look wonderful” I replied. And I guess I lightly chuckled.
“What’s so funny?” she said.

“Oh, I was just picturing what the bedroom would have looked like ten years ago. You know, after you’d finished getting dressed.” And I laughed again.
“You mean before Fractal Friends.” she added. She ran her hand through her hair and started towards the front door grabbing her purse along the way. “They are a girl’s best friend.”

“Yeah, but not a boy’s” I quipped. She came to a full stop at the front door, swung around and fixed me with a hard look.
“What do you mean by that?” she groaned.

“Well, before Fractal Friends you had a limited amount of space so that means that there were only so many outfits you could try on and take off before finally settling on what you’re wearing to the ball. Now, the sky’s the limit. You could be in there forever!”
She wasn’t terribly amused. “The car is waiting,” she crooned, “and I’m not really sure I even want to go to this thing so believe me when I say that this is not a conversation you wish to have with me at this moment in time.” And with a sly smile, she was out the door.

New York City at night has always been one of my favorite things in this world. The dark black sky gets spotted with white clouds unnaturally illuminated by the lights of the Empire State Building. The thousands of little office lights in the skyscrapers, look like stars floating in a nebula of black quartz or like streams of Christmas lights strung neatly around giant obsidian obelisks. And to see it all moving makes it all the more beautiful. Our car was speeding down the FDR and all around us long black limousines reflected the neon dance of the city. We were like a school of killer whales caught in a phosphorescent stream careening towards lower Manhattan. Next to me, Evelyn was fixing her makeup in a small illuminated mirror, adding yet another light to the luminescent spectacle. And then something out the window caught my eye. Across the East River, between the converted Domino Sugar plant and the new Asian Alliance Tower was an illuminated sign. And it read, “Fractal Friends. Expand Your World”.

I’ll never forget the first Fractal Friends ad I ever saw. It was only a few years after that Austrian scientist had found a way to create rifts in time-space and open small doorways to some kind of parallel dimension. It all sounded very dangerous. Some said that if you walked into the rift you could get lost in there and never return and I do believe I heard of a few cases of that happening. But then Fractal created a device that would dictate the size of the space. With their little generator, you could open a space that was say, four feet by four feet by four feet and voila, you had an extra closet in your home where one didn’t exist before. I think everyone was a little surprised by how soon this technology had a commercial application and that it was being offered to the public at all. But then, with a president that had close ties to a former CEO of Fractal, maybe it wasn’t so surprising. Anyway, I guess it was the kind of thing you needed to see for yourself because I sure as hell didn’t believe the commercial. But before I knew it, everyone had a Fractal Friends Time-space Mini-storage portal in their apartment or office. It only took seeing it in use once or twice before I knew we needed one.

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