The day after Valentine’s day is the day that lonely hearts (like your humble blog writer) rejoice with cupid’s sweet hibernation. The Italian dinner dates and the pounds upon pounds of chocolate can make us exclaim one big “humbug” with bitter enthusiasm. That was until I saw the pristine beauty set cozily in my driveway. There, the perfect distance away from the garage and all sealed up with a disc lock, was a Mobile Attic Portable Storage Container. The beauty brought a tear to my eye as I rushed over to open the door. Taped to the majestic roll-up gateway was a large heart with a simple envelope. It contained nothing but a key, but I had seen this type before many times and I knew what it unlocked (the container, obviously). I wanted to bask in the mystery of the whole thing. Could it be that I, the jaded of Valentine’s day, had a secret admirer? “Impossible,” I thought. I looked back in my mind to all the people I had interacted with over the last month or so. At a certain point, I had to give up straining because my only lead was my coworker John (he did compliment my beard the other day, but he’s also married).
The only thing left to do would be to open the container and reveal all the secrets that were wrapped in linens of hope, but mostly wool blankets of anxiety. That would be way too easy. I wanted to torture myself a bit and raise my hopes to the reflective ceiling and beyond! I wondered to myself, “what are some interesting Valentine’s ideas that could be contained in this unit.” And thus, the next episode of the unconventional container began!
My first thought was that maybe the container was filled to the brim with chocolate. Dark chocolate if the person knows me well enough, but I found it perfectly acceptable if it did contain milk chocolate. The reflective roof would allow for it to be stored and preserved for a while in a solid state. I thought to myself, “thank the stars that our containers don’t heat up and trap that heat like a car. The chocolate would be a nice ocean and I may just drown in the outpouring (though that does sound delightful in some ways). To me, chocolate seemed to be an obvious choice because it is such a staple for the Valentine’s industry. The history is kind of spotty, but chocolate goes all the way back to the Aztecs who hailed it for its romantic properties. Europe maintained this same idea after contact in South America and, before long, 19th century guys and gals were passing around chocolate to express their love and adoration for one another. I certainly don’t know of any Aztecs or Europeans that would be interested in giving me chocolate, so there must have been something else hidden within that steel and aluminum container of wonders.
Idea number two is another Valentine’s staple that is firmly lodged in the holiday’s abstract psyche. I conjured up images of a container filled with rows and rows of flowers. Not really my speed, but I certainly appreciated the imaginary gesture. The only problem was that our containers are leak-checked, so I knew they weren’t getting any moisture. I imagined the countless roses that spelled out my name in various colors, and a flower bed that perfectly resembled my beard. It was an elegant sight. By just picturing the image, I was overwhelmed by the smell and my mood was lifted. As far as the history goes, the entire enterprise seems to go back to Charles II of Sweden in the 18th century. He would give out flowers that had specific meanings attached to them so that he could create sweet smelling conversations entirely from a flower collection. The connection between love and flowers seems almost ancient, with modern associations coming from Shakespeare and before. The flower, with its fragility and subtle elegance, seems to represent love itself and the human condition. I wondered for a moment what kind of flower epic awaited me on the other side of that roll up door. After a few moments of contemplation, I couldn’t resist the urge.
The air was still as I undid the latch to the container; I slide the door open with a cool smoothness. I could hear nothing at all and, thinking back, I couldn’t think or feel. There was just the perfect silence as the only two things in the universe, your writer and the container, stared at one another in harmony. The light hesitated and then poured into the unit and ricocheted off the e-tracks along the walls to reveal…nothing. In disbelief, I walked inside the container, feeling the hope linens rip and burn inside of me. It was in the moment that I felt all was lost when I found a simple envelope attached to the inside, much like the one I found on the door. I tore it open like a madman and carefully read the letter, my eyes unable to concentrate easily from the excitement. In bold, the letter exclaimed, “Take advantage of our Valentine’s special through February!” I was overcome with the most immaculate joy. I knew how it felt to be loved.