I have been disgusted with myself. For a few days now, I cringe at the thought of me. Me and that cupboard. The cupboard I had kept shut and locked and placed the key where I could see it only if I looked for it. I forgot about it. Till it was time to remember. There is always time to remember. They work like clockwork, memories.
So, I opened the cupboard and there were clothes upon clothes. Most of them were in good condition. They had not faded, for they did not see the sun. There were no tears, for nothing pierced their hearts. I touched each one – the silks slipping from between my fingers, the cottons soft, flannels like skin with a bit of fuzz and woolens that muffled the sound of other garments as though the sudden breeze of my breath would hurt them. They felt protected in one another’s company.
Strangers. I had worn them; I recalled some occasions, the accessories, the laughter, the end of a sleeve soiled at the table, or the edge of a scarf caught in a tangle of hair. I thought about all this and realised I did not need any. I could not believe that I had been so consumed by wanting things that I did not want them anymore. How could a cupboard hold so much? And why?
What was I thinking when I hoarded all of these? Would they make me into anything I was not? Were they body masks that gave me a different look? I pulled out one cream-coloured blouse. It must have been white and it could turn beige. It had that quality to adapt to light. I held it in my hand, scrunched it and with my nail poked into the neckline where the V ended in a sharp drop. The V that would have been a subtle cleavage. The V that would show off a choker. The V that would darken with trickles of sweat along its lines. I poked it and it tore. Just a bit, like a sigh. I gave up. I was past killing.
Slowly, I placed each in a line on the floor and when the space was taken up I began piling them on each other. It looked like a mass burial of unsung soldiers. They did not die due to asphyxiation. They died because I made them feel the air.