Monday, August 11, 2008

The end of the road

So, at 0730 this morning we were in place at the locker. A perimeter was established. Comms freqs were decided. Escape routes mapped. Snipers placed on nearby rooftops.

Though not really. I plonked my ass down on a bench about ten meters from the locker, along with my trusty companions. And proceeded to stare at the damn thing for five hours. Tick tock, tick tock.

I already figured Stockholm Central Station was a busy place all day long, but I had no idea there would be such commotion around the lockers. The mystery locker in question is kind of out of the way, especially now with construction going on in the station, but regardless, there was a lot of human traffic there.

The lockers in all their drab glory

There was the Japanese couple, older man, younger woman, might have been father and daughter, where the man opened every single unoccupied locker, one after the other. The woman followed him, holding an envelope from the Stockholm police department. I was tempted to ask what was going on, but they didn’t seem in the mood.

The locker then. Tick tock, tick tock. Was the veil of mystery about to be lifted? It was on schedule, the display showing that it hadn’t been opened since last Monday. Then, at around 11:30, this:

Eh? P3? The Swedish radio station? No? The plot thickened. We kept our watch. Tireless. Fearless. Clueless.

Then there was the old man. Oh, the old man. I can only hope to aspire to such heights of obsession. He was probably in his 80s, carried two bags from Swedish everyman gadget supermarket Clas Ohlsson, and clutched a few wrinkled papers to his chest. He moved among the lockers, stopping at each the occupied ones, jotting down what the display said on each one in what I can only imagine was some sort of list of all the lockers in the station. He walked past us twice, about three hours apart, and jotted down his numbers each time. What. The. Hell.

Then, suddenly, disaster struck. The display jumped back to “…”. Without any human intervention. Confusion ensued. What was this? Divine intervention? Some infernal reality game? Only one way to find out.

I phoned BoxGruppen (the locker group, in Swedish), the company or division or whatever responsible for the lockers, and pointed out there is one that’s always occupied. The man at the other end sounded tired, distracted and confused. I gave him the locker number. Tap tap tap on a keyboard. Then a distant voice, somewhere behind the man, muffled. Then he comes back on. “That locker is rented permanently to one of our customers. We can’t tell you which customer or what for.”

Flatline. Dead end. Brick wall at high speed. To quote Otto from A Fish Called Wanda: DISAPPOINTED!!!

So. Back to square one. No mystery unveiled. Someone rents that locker, permanently, and has access to it anytime, any day. There could still be whatever going on, but I have no realistic way of finding out. Again, to quote a movie: FUCK! ASS!

Now I need to find another mystery to obsess over. Any suggestions?


Linnea said...

"And then there was the old man"... do you not find that creepy? How do you think he started out - a few hours on a bench to solve a one-locker mystery maybe..?

beardonaut said...

Ehum. No no, there's absolutely no way I could end up down that well of insanity and obsession. No no no. /end irony.

Ellie said...

Haha, vilket antiklimax. Jag som hade väntat mig nåt spännande :-)

beardonaut said...

Antiklimax på sätt och vis, men mysteriet lever ju. Hade blivit ännu mer upprörd om det hade visat sig vara något genomtråkigt, som ett testskåp för skåpföretaget eller så.

mistlur said...

jag tycker att du, som gubben, ska ta det steget längre och göra som den där hyresvärden gjorde för några år sedan och plantera en webkamera riktad mot skåpet och spela in materialet. annars tycker jag att permanent uthyrt och anonym hyrare låter sjukt spännande. hade du verkligen räknat med att mysteriet skulle sluta här?

beardonaut said...

Inte sluta kanske, men åtminstone avtäckas något. Inte försvinna bakom en än mer massiv rökridå. Och tanken har slagit mig, men det är både ogörbart och olagligt. Och riktigt så besatt är jag inte.