TIME-SPACE MINI-STORAGE

When you live in New York City, Manhattan in particular, space is limited and at a premium. Anyone here will tell you that ten years ago, you had few options when it came to storage. If you had parents or other relatives in the suburbs, you were set. You’d just drop all of your stuff off in their basement in New Jersey or Long Island and go out there when you needed it. But if you didn’t have family out there, forget it. Your only other choice back then was to get an actual storage unit in a warehouse. Hell, they were so expensive, you might as well invest the money in getting a bigger apartment. The only other choice was to do what most of us have always done; throw out everything you own about once a year.
But you know how it is. There are some items that have greater sentimental value than others. My trophies for instance. I sure as hell didn’t need them around, but it seems weird to throw them out. And my grandfather’s lamp? Or the coffee table I collaged with my drawings? These are obviously not items one needs to keep around to add to the clutter, but how could I possibly throw them away? And then there’s Evelyn’s things. She used to have a rule that if she didn’t wear a garment in a whole year, it got thrown out, not because she didn’t love it, mind you, but just because we simply didn’t have the space. Once we got our first Time-space Mini-Storage Portal, that all changed. She could keep absolutely every piece of clothing she’d ever bought. The first one we got was three feet by three feet by five feet. It didn’t take long to fill that one. Now, we are up to six hundred cubic feet of other-dimensional storage and we haven’t had to throw out a single thing since. Our apartment is empty save for the bed and couple pieces of furniture. All the clutter is gone. We just turn on the generator, wave our hands over the field and the doorway opens. The conveyer comes out, you put the stuff on it, it goes in and voila, it’s out of sight. Where it goes? I’ll be honest, I still don’t quite understand that part. But then again, I still don’t know understand how a phone works, but that doesn’t stop me from making calls.

“What are you thinking about, ” asked Evelyn out of the silence.
“I was thinking about how beautiful you are.” I said and we smiled at each other.

Glancing passed her out the window I noticed the hospital. The rear end of it, which faces the highway seemed different somehow, more spacious. “What’s different about the hospital?” I asked “Didn’t it used to be closer to the road?”
She turned her head to look. “No, it’s not further away. They just got rid of all of the garbage bins. It just seems further away because there’s all that extra room there now”.

“Well, then if there’s no bins, what do they put all of their garbage in now?”

She turned to me with a wry smile, “Oh, the bins are still there, you just can’t see them.” and mimicking the voice of a cheesy television announcer she continued, “Fractal Friends, Expand your world!” and she playfully shot me with two imaginary guns. “Pow! pow!”
“Other-dimensional garbage disposal?” I mused, “that’s kind of brilliant, isn’t it?”

She put her compact away and pointed over my shoulder to the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, “That’s nothing”, she said, “Look over there. See what’s missing?” I scanned the Brooklyn waterfront under the bridge but nothing seemed particularly awry. “Come on”, she nudged, “think about it. Big, black, two huge smoke stacks?”

“Oh! The waste treatment plant!”

“Right.” she said.
“It’s gone.” I continued. “Wait, they didn’t push it into a portal did they?”

Evelyn laughed, “Oh, I’m sure they would have if they could. But they can’t do that. That would mean people would have to work in the other dimension and I don’t think that’s terribly safe or maybe even possible.”
“So where is it then?”

“They tore it down to put up some condos,” she said. “They tore it down because we don’t need it anymore. Do you know why that is?” I shook my head. “We don’t need it anymore because now we just push all of our garbage into the other dimension.”
“Come on, that’s not true.” I barked.

“Yeah, it is, actually. Remember that huge landfill on the way to my mother’s? It’s not there anymore. I mean, it is, but you can’t see it. They shoved it into a giant rift and built a mall in its place. My mother and I went the last time I was out there.”
“A mall and a garbage dump inhabiting the same space. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Honestly, I didn’t even know you can do that. I mean on that scale.”

“Our storage unit is small because we don’t have a lot of money. But the city? They can afford to put a whole building in one. You need to watch the news more often,” she said. “There are all sorts of strange things happening in our world.”
Suddenly, the car came to an abrupt halt. “What’s going on?” I asked.

“It looks like a traffic jam” she offered craning her neck to see out the front window of the car.

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