#86 – Out of the Closet

I’ve made two observations which feature prominently in today’s post. In my experience, people busy with their own activities tend to be oblivious to their surroundings. In contrast, bored folks killing time don’t miss much.

My wife and I “share” a spacious walk-in closet. In theory, we’ve divided the space equally. In practice Sophia has steadily encroached on my territory, installing blouses and skirts on my clothes’ rack, and sweaters, hats and even shoes on my shelves. I find her invasion doubly infuriating. Thanks to her annexation of my shelf space, I’ll have to move to the guest bedroom’s closet if I buy another tee-shirt. More annoyingly, her territorial expansion sometimes catches me by surprise, like yesterday. 

I slept horribly Thursday night. When the alarm went off at 5:30 yesterday morning, I shuffled into our closet like a barely animated zombie, fumbling in the dark for the clothes I’d laid out at bedtime. I didn’t bother turning on the light, since I’d placed my suit and other items in easy reach, ready to be donned on
autopilot. Last but not least, I felt for the farthest pair of loafers on the shelf, slipped them on and headed out the door. 

I left the house before sunrise, allowing ample time to crawl through the Atlanta traffic on my way to a court hearing south of the city. I had no chance to examine myself until I arrived at my destination and stepped out of the car. But as soon as I swung my legs onto the pavement, I discovered that the tight-fitting footwear I’d squeezed into weren’t the not-yet-broken-in Ferragamos I’d recently purchased. Rather, the shoes I’d worn to court were the Mrs.’ shiny red patent leather loafers, which somehow had displaced my work shoes from their designated spot on my shelf. 

How could I possibly mistake Sophia’s loafers for my own you ask? As it happens, we fit into nearly the same sized shoes. I constantly mock her “enormous clown feet,” especially when I catch her wearing my socks.  Her Cole Haans may’ve felt snug on me, but not so constrictive as to raise an alarm. 

Though clad in what felt like props from the “Wizard of Oz,” I had no choice but to grit my teeth and move forward … which returns me to my two earlier observations. During the entire journey from my car to a courtroom pew, not one of the busy folks I came across noticed my unusual footwear. But when the judge called my case, a bored kid sitting on the aisle with his father watched closely as I strode by. Judging by the laughter echoing behind me, everyone around the boy must’ve heard him theatrically “whisper”: “Dad, why is that man wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers?”

They look nothing like “ruby slippers” to me, but …


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