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  • Writer's pictureDuke Shoman

Little by Little, Cluttered Closets

My house is filled with things I’ve collected over the years, along with things that were given to me by various people at various times. In all honesty I find most of it useless and don’t benefit my life whatsoever. So much so that the majority of my things are stuffed away behind closet doors, under beds, and in the very back of cabinets. All of this packrating is in attempts to distract myself of their existence and keep them out of sight and out of mind. I store the sentiments, inconsequential trinkets, greeting cards, notes passed in classes, and random items people gave me with or without my consent.

 There are items I enjoyed very much, and I put these on the walls and in the sunlight so I may enjoy them in passing from time to time; but these items are few. The majority of items I own, clutter all available storage space and imposes itself to remain with me despite having given it no conscious acquiescence to do so. Part of me feels these have, for some reason, earned the right to stay with me simply because another, one from long long ago, so far removed in time that they have no bearing on my life in the least said I needed to have it. Hell, those who bestowed them may not even know what state I live in, nor I them, but because they took the time to focus on me for what could be the briefest of moments to instill it to me, I keep it. Somehow this fleeting momentum of attention attached itself to the heap of possessions I carry around with me. Year to year, city to city, age to age, home to home, I make deliberate effort to carefully bubble wrap and secure these heavy and cumbersome items, taking the utmost deliberation to ensure they don’t arrived damaged or broken to any place of residence I decide to inhabit. I stack them upon my back, so heavy my disks bulge, my next strains, and my legs quake under the weight. For years I attach myself to this labor as though, without a display of solid work ethic I’ll be reprimanded from the foreman. Yet the foreman has since retired to the potters field so far removed his grave no longer collect flowers nor does anyone truly remembers where he lies.

The days push buy in groups, and from time to time people still try to give me things, but at this stage of the game I have grown harder and have been weathered away of most of the welcoming sentiment I once had in younger years. Some gifts, only those given by ones I find to have the best taste in decor and a sublime talent for giftgiving, are accepted. Although I have grown accustomed to furnishing and decorating my home with items I procure myself, I put those new, those tasteful and useful offertories in the front of the shelves of my closet and bookcase, hidden behind mirror doors. Here these charities rest in darkness and quiet humble solitude; and are only ever presented to my eye when I feel cold, when the night is biting, and I unbarre them as a byproduct of reaching in for the comfort of a soft, safe, sweater. I keep these items, and my other favorites, well-maintained and in good repair behind the mirrored doors. I catch a subtle smile in the reflection of the mirrored doors whenever I should visit; and they make me happy.  

Little by little I find myself, periodically going through my closet and hidey-holes to find knickknacks I’ve kept for years which are now unrecognizable, and who’s origins are no longer remembered; who’s hinges have lost their pins and bushings have dried and cracked. Little by little relocation by relocation, I find myself, not feeling compelled to devote shelf space to these relics of a yesteryear. Little by little I find myself, throwing away the broken, the malformed, the useless. Little by little, I find myself, continuing the relocation and redistribution of the offal in my closet to landfills, to fire pits, to whence I know not nor care not to trace. Little by little, I find myself.


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