The hangers in my closet are askew. I haven't moved the empty ones from the back to the front of the line the way I like to. And t...
The Agoraphobic's Closet
The hangers in my closet are askew.
I haven't moved the empty ones from the back to the front of the line the way I like to. And there are several pointing upwards at jaunty angles, instead of hanging straight the way they should. Every day, they rattle-clank as I yank another garment free, sending them into new patterns of disarray.
And even though I am a person who yearns for symmetry, for straight, for tidy, for clear, for plain, I find the patterns beautiful. Sometimes, I stare for full minutes and smile because my closet is a mess.
Because I am wearing clothes.
Clothes that aren't the rumpled pajama pants and yawning tent t-shirts stuffed into my dresser drawers. Clothes that aren't my secret stay-at-home and nobody-sees clothes. I've been wearing outside clothes lately.
This is why my closet is beautiful.
Outside is a scary place for me. I am easily scared. My brain tells me lies, daily. Tells me that to be out of control is to be in danger. Tells me I am visible, vulnerable, victim. And it is never true. Never. I have never died from leaving the house. Never been so much as mildly maimed. Never been stood in front of a jeering crowd, openly mocked for all my shiny, glare-bright flaws. The spotlight is not a fan of me anymore than I'm a fan of it.
But my closet tells the story of risks taken. Of clothing worn and imaginary dangers faced. Simple errands. A family dinner in a public place full of prying eyes. A trip to the movies with a loud, attention-drawing five-year-old in tow. Time in our backyard cleaning up mushy sidewalk chalk forgotten under the snow, scraps of broken toys, and snack wrappers as the neighbour--her yard pristine--watches.
I have died a thousand make-believe deaths from potential humiliation, and only reality has the ability to steal the power from them. So my reality now has hangers, hanging jauntily askew, and puddles of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor that I'll pick up when I'm done being out out out and free free free.
I would write more, but I'm going out again today.
Whatever shall I wear . . .
About author: Kimberly VanderHorst
Kimberly Vanderhorst wrote her first book when she was seven (it was totally awesome, but the world isn't ready for it yet), and her next when she was twenty-seven. When asked to account for the intervening decades, she likes to suggest the possibility of alien abduction with as straight a face as possible.