My wife yelled down the hall from the laundry.
“You need new clothes.”
“Why?” I hollered back.
“Because what you wear is grubby.”
I admit my clothes are well worn but that only means they wear well – fitting perfectly into my minimalist lifestyle.
I keep things simple. Two pairs of shorts and two t-shirts for summer and the same count of blue-jeans and sweatshirts for winter – which when in season I hang from a hook on the inside of my closet door.
That way, I never have to reach into my closet.
I prefer to stay out of there because my closet holds things that I do not want to revisit. Inside is another me. A thinner, hyper-caffeinated, office attired me – and thank god since I retired those days are over… I mean the caffeine/office days, not the thin days.
“You need new clothes,” she repeated from somewhere else in the house, probably the pantry.
I tried a different tack. “I don’t have room in my closet.”
“You know what to do about that,” she said as she tossed a large trash bag into the bedroom.
So now I had to load up yet another piece of my life and haul it to the Goodwill. I shouldn’t have minded doing this but I did. Filling a bag for the Goodwill is a lot like confession. In order to unburden yourself, you must revisit your history.
I, for one, prefer to hang onto my old sins, not hand them off to someone else. Those sins are mine and I paid the price for them. By unloading them, I become less of who I am.
The same with clothes.
When we moved into this house, we had two closets. One for her and one for me. She filled her closet then started filling one end of my closet and slowly encroached her way past the middle.
I feel I am being squeezed out and all that remains of me are old clothes and old sins.
I guess I am returning to my roots. Back during my days of innocence, I hitch-hiked around the country carrying nothing but a small backpack. Over time I began to accumulate – both things and mistakes until I had so much of both that I was forced to settle down just to survive. That is when I really began to accumulate – mostly stuff and yes, a few more sins – until it all became too much and I came full circle.
Now, all I have is half of closet full of unwanted clothes and two seasonal outfits hanging from a hook on my closet door.
When I finished filling the bag, I yelled, “I got rid of what I can.”
“Then hang your clothes in the closet where they belong,” she called from the laundry room.
“Okay,” I called back.
“Good,” she said coming down the hall with a couple of her things dangling from hangers…
Which she then hung up on the hook I had just emptied.
I simply stared at her.
What?” she said, “you’re not using it anymore…”