Strong convictions carried little currency. A neatly labeled shelf already existed for his passionate angst: the questioners. It was big enough for Chase and all of his friends and inside they found more incredibly inspiring humans. Two named Molly and Sam, had carved a small tunnel through the wall of the cabinent, they built a smooth slide that deposited the curious into a cabinet labeled “depressed recluse.” The walls of the cabinet were painted and plastered with ornate mid-century musings. In the back a small library of records was kept for musical enjoyment. Poking his head out of the cracked cabin droor, Chase saw a sea of cabinets, each neatly labeled.
“Good afternoon sir” Said a blind man walking across the sea of cabinents.
“Hows it going” I asked.
“Everything is good right now. Thanksgiving is coming right up around the corner, I’m thankful for that.”
“There is a lot to be thankful for,” Chase muttered, turning his head around to watch his friends walk deeper into his cabinent.
“Young man are you crossing any of these cabinets, may I cross with you.”
Chase stepped out and the man wrapped his hand around Chase’s arm like a marsupial tail. They walked together.
“Are you looking for any shelf in particular?” Chase inquired.
“I have a bed about thirty shelves down in the blind black man cabinent, but I thought it would be nice to do some walking before dark.”
They passed dusty old cabinets that hadn’t been opened in years. Labels like griots guild, protagonists circle, time for time club, polio survivors. As they crossed over each cabinet shelf the top heavy old man would tap his cane against the metal casing, listening for resonance, listening for a response.
“You can tell a lot about a box by tapping on it. Some people respond quickly almost urgently with a few taps or banging. In others the sound just carries on down, hitting stagnant pools of flesh that have burrowed in deep and probly don’t appreciate the foreign noise.”
They both understood that there was no end to the sea of cabinets, too many new identities were constructed daily. Builders could barely keep up trying to house humanities profiles.
“Watch out for that one” Chase chuckled pointing with his finger, “Violent sports fans”
The sun bouncing light off various metallic handles and lock knobs was nearly two fingers from the Shelves horizon line.
“Best to head back now.” The man said.
Chase agreed. Cold and dark and metal didn’t mix well. The comfort of his friends, his friends songs, paintings and wine filled discussions were a comforting food, difficult to find elsewhere. Certainly there were other strongholds, other people questioning socities structure, yearning for novel interactions and open expression. There had to be others, nestled, crammed like cozy eggs into a padded box, somewhere not too far away from here in the sea of cabinets.
Tapping through aluminum face plates and titanium mesh, even a small ceramic tile façade, the blind man led Chase back to the questioners box. With the sun set and wind humming through handles, Chase offered the man a bed to sleep in for the night.
“What’s the name of your shelve anyways.”
“We’re the questioners” Chase said.
Leaning his cane against his fit nylon track pants he paused before answering.
“Yes, I can sleep in there”