July 10, 2014

          POLE VAULT

Of two closets in my NYC apartment, the tiny one was for coats, boots, television, and tool box). The other was for clothes, and was five feet wide by 18” deep.
     Anything needing a hanger went in that closet, on a thin wire hanger. My left bicep was notably stronger because I shoved loaded hangers to the left when fitting in another item.        
     Reading one night, I heard a muffled sound of slope collapse. Although ongoing demolition next door had come within two bricks of my inside wall, it was midnight. The thick pine closet pole, sturdy enough for fifty pounds of clothes, had given up. Again! Last warning! One end had gouged a track down the left wall, the other slumped on the floor. The clothes, still on hangers, had folded themselves as the pole went down, and cowered on my shoes.
     The next day, I put anything that wasn’t black, gray, off-white or beige (no matter how much I loved it or its colors -- turquoise, crimson, marigold, vintage prints, equable plaids), into garbage bags and lugged them to a thrift store. 
    I tried to fit the weight-warped pole back into its socket hardware. But it was now too short. I got my tool box from the other closet, unscrewed one socket, shimmed it with cardboard, and screwed it back with longer screws. I hung up my austere black, gray, white and beige clothes. They were patient -- there was plenty of room.  

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