Closet-Sitting & Another Day with Sarah

I am sitting in the closet, literally. The iron is on a shelf across from me and a mini-ironing board is leaning against a cardboard box. Two levels of hangers – sweaters and blouses on the top level and slacks on the bottom – are to my left. A folded up blue beach chair is right in front of me next to the iron, as I sit, cross-legged, my back against the side wall. The closet has beige carpet, which is two shades darker than the light beige sheet rock walls. A bare bulb in a fixture on the ceiling is the only light.

Why am I in the closet you might ask and I’d have to say that this has more to do with needing to be alone versus hiding though I suppose there is an element of that, as well. I have always loved closets, especially when I was little and would hide in them all the time. Again, I wasn’t hiding as much as just getting away, finding a space and time that allowed for me to simply be alone.

What is this need you might ask and I would have to say that it’s not so much to be anti-social as to be disconnected for just a little while. I end up feeling overloaded like a socket with too many plugs and occasionally I need to have those plugs pulled so I can cool off. Not that I’m mad or upset or anything like that. Instead, I am simply happy to be in a room – even a very small room without a window – for just a little while.

What are the positive benefits of closets you might ask and I’d have to say that they provide a separation from the world; a spot where others are definitely not allowed and where one can have a little breathing time. As a little kid, I grew up in a big family and these closet times were my time to just scoot to the back and enjoy the feel of my mother’s coat on my face or her smell coming from the clothes. Here I am in my daughter’s closet and I don’t smell anything in particular except for the slightly rancid smell of our dirty clothes sack, where underwear and socks are being stored until they can be taken to the laundry.

So, why am I in here besides having a bit of a respite? Because I can’t concentrate outside where the tv is on. The program, no matter how boring, will pull my attention to it and there I’ll be, staring at that screen like some zombie.

I am wondering what the point of this exercise is, after all. Just writing is something that’s good for fluidity, but not particularly interesting to read. Perhaps I just have to get comfortable with the idea of boring people to death with these ramblings. Of course, that’s not exactly my goal…

I am tired. We went to the beach today and walked in the sand, the very fine Gulf sand. We watched the white caps on the turbulent waves and felt the wind in our faces. The sky was gray; the water was darker today, a darker green, and the air was warm and humid. We wore shorts and short-sleeved tops and went barefooted.

Later, we drove to the tiny village of Fulton, where we ate at a restaurant overlooking fishing boats in a small marina. Working fishing boats with green and yellow nets and bins on deck to store the fish. We walked out on a fishing pier that went out at least 100 yards into the water and watched the waves all around us, lifting and shifting as the wind blew hard.

We ate all sorts of shrimp: shrimp gumbo, fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, boiled shrimp and stuffed shrimp. That along with a baked potatoes and salads and big glasses of water with lime. We ate outside on a second floor deck of a restaurant and as we ate we watched as a fishing boat came back into port and backed into one of the boat slips not far from where we ate. The three men secured the boat, then stood there talking for a long time, as if time wasn’t an issue for any of them and there was nowhere else better to go. They were still standing on the boat talking and drinking beer after our meal, after our walk out on the fishing pier, after a trip to the bath room and after we got into our car and drove away. They may still be there as far as I know.

Our day was near perfect, though the skies were gray, not blue. Other than that, we walked, talked, ate, laughed and generally had a lovely time.

Now it’s time to go to sleep. Sarah starts a new rotation tomorrow. I will get up early and take her so we can have the car. I will make her some food she can eat the rest of the week when she comes home from the hospital after twelve hours there. Chicken enchiladas and turkey burgers that can be frozen and eaten as suits her.

Off I go to bed now. Another fine day with our daughter. My right leg is tingling from my cross-legged stance. I think it’s time I vacated this closet!

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