DannyT Land

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Location: Winter Park, Florida, United States

A couple of writers, adult children, dog lovers, theme park fans, Stargate fanatics, and generally silly people.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Unpacking

Today's Writing Prompt: While unpacking at your new apartment, you find a box left behind in the corner of the closet. Whats in it? What do the items tell you about the previous resident?

I couldn't decide if I wanted to bring my stuff in all at once, or one box at a time. I had a nice spot on the street to unload things to my new apartment, but other people needed to use it. I was taking up too much room, and didn't want to piss off my new neighbors. I unloaded everything into the two front rooms, then took the uHaul to the turn-in center.

The cab ride back was nice. I'd driven through San Franciso many times in the last few month, but I never took the time to simply look around and enjoy the sites. Instead of driving, I was now the passenger, and I could see why this city brought so many tourists, and inspired so many songs.

My company company sent me here after the disaster in Nova Scotia. Much of my home and where I worked was now under water. Actually, it was water at the time, but now it's ice. I'd only been to the states once before, but I was nine then, and didn't really think much of what I saw. I wasn't too happy when they told me where I was going. I was hoping for British Columbia, but our company didn't have anything there. Since they were paying for the apartment, and I had only a few things of my own left, I took what I could get. After the cab ride, I was glad I did.

I started by sorting the boxes into the necessary rooms. My new furntiture wouldn't be here for three days, so I'd be sleeping on an air mattresse. Except for the kitchen and bathroom items, I couldn't put anything away yet. I blew up my mattrese, set up the computer and TV, made dinner, and ate with the evening news.

Twenty minutes later, I was bored as hell. I began to understand why people fill their living space with so much stuff -to chase the boredom away. I figured it could put away all my hanging clothes. I gathered them for the uHaul hanging clothes box -I never knew they had such a thing- and walked into the small closet. The bulb was burnt out, so I stole one from the other bedroom. As I started to hang the clothes, I noticed a box on the shelf above the closet door frame. I figured the previous owners couldn't see it with the burnt out bulb, and forgot it.

As I pulled the box down, it was obvious it was pretty old, and very delicate. I took it in the kitchen where the light was better. I didn't know who the previous owners were, and hoped there might be something inside that could tell me. As I opened the lid, I could see it was a box of pictures.

These weren't just any pictures -they were very old pictures. Most where on tin plates, some where board mounted. The paper ones were very brown, and the tin ones were almost black. One by one, I took them out, laying each one on a paper towel on the counter. These were antiques, and might be worth something to the owners, if not a museum. They were so old, it was difficult to see everything in the picture. Some were of people, some were of buildings, but the detail just wasn't there anymore. At the very least, I knew I wasn't going to be board out of my mind this weekend.

I took one of the tin plates to my computer, plugged up my scanner, and scanned it in at the highest resolution I could. Within a few minutes of working with it in photoshop, I was able to see most of the original photo.

These were obviously very old pictures, showing a time I'd never seen. I saved the file, went back to the kitchen. I found some ziplock baggies, and put the pictured I'd just scanned in the baggie. I took another photo back in with me. I printed out the first picture. Might be easier to figure out who they were if I could show the adjusted picture to someone.

The next picture was something else. This one was mounted, and only a little browned. It didn't take me near as long to adjust it.
It looked more a like a ticket. But at least it had a date. This was getting interesting, and fun. I printed out that picture, took the original back to the kitchen, and ziplocked it. The next one was a bit plane, but still interesting.
I couldn't seem to repair the damage of fading out on the top parts of the picture. I figured it was just too damaged. The next picture, however, told me a different story.
I could tell what this one was from the earthquake of 1906. The previous picture wasn't damaged after all - the buidings were damaged.

I guess the previous owners and I had something in common.

(The above pictures are from different public sites online. To see the original sites, click on the pictures. This is a work of fiction. I've never lived in Nova Scotia, and it's not currently underwater, least as far as I know.)

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