Inspired by: Olvidados by Jesus Solana

In the dusty storage room of a downtown office building, the cast-offs and detritus of dozens of office’s Lost and Found had been collecting for some years.

Leon, one of the maintenance workers, held one of the few keys to the storage room. He’d long ago abandoned any hope of organizing the chaos inside, there simply wasn’t any plan or pattern for the variety of items that came in every week. Umbrellas, purses and brief cases were quite commonly lost in office buildings like this one, and the maintenance and security personnel delivered those pretty frequently. The commonplace, every day items Leon had mouldering in the storage room across the hall.

Leon reserved this particular room for the unusual, the inexplicable items. That 40-inch television, for instance—left behind by an Audio-Visual presentations team? Looked almost brand new, wrapped in plastic. Did it work or not? A shoe box, with unworn shoes inside—intended as a present for someone? Pieces of computer equipment, common enough of course, but unopened shipping containers? What was inside them?

The most unusual, perhaps, was the life-sized mannequin. Fully dressed in business attire, gray suit, power tie, briefcase. It looked like it stepped directly out of a Men’s Warehouse or Macy’s or Nordstrom catalog. Leaning in the corner, next to a spool of coaxial cable, collecting dust on the Standard Peppered Gray Corporate Haircut Number Six.

This building was a dozen blocks, at least, from the nearest clothing store. And miles from any mall. Where did it come from, who might come looking for it?

But the mannequin bore a marked resemblance to the Standard Cube Farm Units that moved in and out of this building every weekday. Nine A.M. to five P.M., 50 weeks a year. The hundreds of men that passed Leon daily, without seeing—they just didn’t share the same universe with Leon.

Studying the mannequin became one of his favorite idle pastimes. He checked in every day during his rounds. Idle curiosity and plenty of time on his hands to look, wonder and speculate.

This morning, Leon unlocked the storage room and flipped on the light, just like a thousand times before. He pushed the door open, and jumped back in surprise.

The mannequin flatly stated, “Annihilate.” Pushed past Leon (without seeing him), and marched for the elevators.

There are times when being invisible is a real advantage, Leon thought, locking the storage room back up.

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Pending File


We’re entering the final days of 2014 — how did you do on your New Year’s resolutions these past 11.75 months? Is there any leftover item to be carried over to 2015?

Well, that’s certainly easy. I didn’t make any resolutions last year. That kind of “life-planning lite” isn’t something I tend to go for.

What’s still in the ‘pending’ file? Let’s see; I’ve stopped smoking, salt intake is down, blood pressure is down, immediate survival prospects looking all right.

Cholesterol, I suppose, is still on the ‘pending’ list. And sugar, probably, Annie worries about that one. There’s always ‘eat right and excercise’, but I’ve never been a real fan of either (that’s more Brad’s Thang).

Are we done with my boring check-up now, doc?

All righty then. Is there anything filed under ‘personal development’?

Ponders the psychoanalyst couch… No, nothing particularly pressing, I’m no crazier than this time last year, I don’t think.

Charitable work?

Bwahahaha. Sorry, yesterday I was Sauron. Today I’m the Easter Bunny?


I’m too dull to have good resolutions. To have really good resolutions, you need to have really good sins, right?

Wrong house. Maybe you should try next door? They like to party into the wee hours—so there must be a few resolutions hanging out down there.

Other than a tendency to wake up Sauron, some mornings, I don’t think I have any fun news for the Resolution Fairy (or whoever it is that deals with Jan. 1).

And for the odd Sauron mornings, I have my Babble Therapy (the one I share each morning with you folks). Aren’t you lucky?

RecDave Seal

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