Hour seven of walking through a warehouse the size of six Costcos is when you start to lose your mind. Forklifts whiz by, their drivers wearing an orange vest honk at you to get out of their way, and at least one of them slapped my arm with a plastic ruler when I tried to hop on the back of his little truck. I just wanted freedom, it didn’t matter how I released from my box lined prison.
It was supposed to be an easy trip. Nacho and I were just picking up the freshly shipped copies of issue five and driving them back to the office. I’d never been to the warehouse - a super structure filled with boxes of everything from the magazine, to edible crickets, and plastic sunglasses for your dog. In theory this is a holy place. Within 30 minutes it was Hell. Security was a breeze. I thought they were happy to see us, but when the security guard flashed his rotten teeth and rasped, “enjoy your stay,” I should have known that something was amiss. But I’m an idiot and he could have been the grim reaper and I would have doffed my cap. In this scenario I’m prone to wearing caps and doffing them.
Inside, we handed off our paperwork, spent more money than we wanted to, and were asked to wait by loading bay 101. Easy, perfect, beautiful. Where could anyone go wrong with loading bay 101? Nacho went to the bathroom and I said that I’d meet him at the dock as I stepped into the labyrinthian inner workings of the warehouse. Every step I took was the wrong one. I thought I was walking towards the loading bays, but when I found my way to fresh air I discovered that I was at loading bay 201. I walked for miles before coming to 202, I’d gone the wrong way. At some point, crazy from lack of sleep I walked back into the maze of boxes and tried my luck inside.
There were bones on the floor, bleached by time and arranged in the shape of an arrow. Too exhausted not to be suspicious I followed the direction of the arrow until I came to path diverging in the center of the boxes. A skeleton lie propped up against a carton of Wrangler Jeans. It pointed to the right. I walked right as I doffed an imaginary cap at the skeleton. My feet were throbbing through my shoes and I wondered if this was the end, would I become a skeleton pointing in some random direction? Or would I just be a pile of bones? Also, are there vultures in the warehouse? And where those real bones or were they just Halloween trinkets that fell out of a box? As I pondered these questions I came upon loading bay 101 just as a pallet covered in boxes of Kill Pretty were being delivered. Nacho stood and checked his phone. “Let’s load ‘em up,” he said. I didn’t argue. I was too tired from my weeks spent lost in the warehouse.