The Storage Unit
I was in a band with a kid
named Johnny Angel.
One day Johnny’s mom,
a patron saint for fostered animals,
told us we couldn’t rehearse
in her living room anymore.
It was fine by me,
the smell of cat urine was
too much to bear and
I no longer wanted to clean
animal hair from my drums.
Someone had the bright idea
that we should rent out
a storage unit and just practice
there instead, whenever we wanted.
The process was simple enough,
it was the sheer amount of volume
however that no one could
have warned us about;
corrugated metal walls and roof,
with cold concrete floors-
the sound was torturous.
So we rolled down the front gate
and played inside under a single
green light bulb for hours at a time,
almost until we couldn’t breathe
And we would come out of that
tin green dungeon with multiple rows
of teeth in our mouths like sharks,
and the perspiration garnered from
within that stomach of storage madness
streaked into our eyes until we
saw multiple green light bulbs
melt and dance across our irises.
That volume was beginning to
puncture the inner hollow ways
of our bones and after two or
three months of that, we crumbled
under the weight of Inland Empire
industrial wasteland, and quickly found
somewhere else to rock.
I learned, after we split from the scene,
that there were a few storage units
very near the one we practiced in
that were being used for meth labs.
And though, with our clamorous
residency, our surf/monster/sci-fi/guitar hell,
we might have earned a few new
jittery, nervous, paranoid and highly
strung out new fans,
still, they were glad to see us go.
Jeremy Szuder (he/him) lives in a tiny apartment with his wife, two children and two cats. He works in the evenings in a very busy restaurant, standing behind a stove, a grill, fryers and heating lamps, happily listening to hours of hand selected music and conjuring ideas for new art and poetry in his head. When his working day ends and he enters his home in the wee hours, he likes to sit down with a glass of wine and record all the various words and images that bear fruit within his mind. Jeremy Szuder only sets the cage doors free when the work begins to pile up too high. In this life, Szuder makes no illusions of being a professional artist in any way, shape, or form.