What’s behind door #1?
What is door #1 you ask?
Door #1 is always closed.
Door #1 has a sign “Employees Must Wash Hands”
A command not often followed…
Door #1 is always unlocked.
Door #1 leads to a room that’s painted blue. Ocean blue, underwater blue.
“Anthony wake up, you need to go to work.” As I gaze around the room remembering how much I hate this paint.
Door #1 leads to a room where there is a Queen size bed, no sheets or pillows. There is a mattress and a box spring, an empty bed.
Now that I think about it, I wonder whatever happened to those sheets.
The room inside Door #1 has a closet. A closet where clothes hang untouched for over a year. Some of the clothes are pants. Pants which now have a thin layer of dust along the crease as they sit silently on the hangers.
The thought of dusting isn’t an option. Memories may be lost.
The shoe tree inside the room behind Door #1 contains shoes and sneakers. Shoes and sneakers that fit a very large foot. Sneakers and shoes that gave people groans regarding their cost when they were purchased.
The memories in the air whisper…
“For $200, you better wear those sneakers until the soles have holes in them.”
Geez these high top sneakers were ugly. He always looked tough.
Behind Door #1 are 2 chests of drawers. Some drawers are empty, others remain untouched. Always coming home to open the drawers and take clothing for a night out. T-shirts wadded together in asymmetrical piles. Boxer shorts stuffed next to dress socks.
Why sort and fold now?
Occasionally brothers or I come in to borrow a shirt.
They’re returned to the drawers afterwards. We have a rule in our house, don’t borrow if you don’t return. All is returned.
Door #1 leads to a large mirror with pictures lovingly forced into the frame. Great-Nonna, baby pictures, brothers and cousins.
Door #1 contains a room with unrealized promises. Promises of love and lifetime. Promises of faith and honesty. Promises of steadfast integrity and a commitment to family.
My ears remember…
“Anthony, will you still love me when you’re 40?”
“Of course Ma, I mean I will have a wife and kids hopefully but you can come over for an hour once a year.”
“Ha! Come on Ma, you know I am kidding.”
Door #1 leads to a room where there was a lot of kidding. Laughter. Smiles. Hugs and taken temperatures.
Door #1 leads to a blue room where there was a lot of anger. Yelling. Tears. Door #1 was often slammed. Hard.
“Leave me the hell alone…”
Who said it? Unsure.
F’in door is going to fall off the damn hinges.
“Go ahead, be an asshole. Stay the hell in there then. You can stay in your room as long as you want, I don’t want to see your face!!”
“What, Anthony? What the fuck is it now?”
“Damn Ma, you always give me shit.”
“Well guess what, maybe if you gave me one OUNCE of something to be happy about, you wouldn’t get my shit.”
“Look at what I made in school today!”
“It’s beautiful Kiddo. Great job.”
“What is it now?”
“I need money, you got $20?”
“No, you have a job. I am not your ATM.”
“Come on Ma?”
“You’re getting fat, look at those love handles.”
“And what about you Chubsy Ubsy? Don’t be telling me I am fat, you eat like you’re going to the electric chair.”
“Come here please, need to talk to you…”
“Dear Lord, Anthony this better be important…”
“Ma, please, it will only take 2 seconds. Promise.”
2 seconds ~ an eternal secret behind Door #1.