Houdini’s Cousin in the Storage Unit by Lenore Weiss

She was moving from a 10 by 15 into a 5 by 9, downsizing whatever she’d packed into plastic boxes with seals that popped when I lifted them like they were filled with effervescent secrets, household remains, until she’d decided to make the pile smaller so she gave stuff away — not the piano, it was her husband’s, he played — to people who kept driving up in cars until the pile was small enough to move to the second floor where we stacked her stuff, me and PeeWee who had a stroke six months before and Freddy who bought PeeWee $15.00 worth of gas that morning so he could get there. She said how I was a magician for getting her shit into one space, and I said that’s why alot of people called me Houdini and I wondered how he did those tricks, and she said she knew. Really, I said. Really, she said, because she was Houdini’s cousin her father use to tell her it was all muscle control, he’d expand his chest when they chained him up, and after they dropped him into the river, he’d let out his breath and escape from the slack.