Saturday, January 06, 2007

Whenever Alex would misbehave as a child his parents--who had never wanted kids and didn't like him very much once they got him--would lock him in a closet. The closet was full of his mother's spare clothes, and there was a little chair for him in there right next to a pile of battered formal shoes. They'd leave him in there for hours, sometimes, forgetting all about him, until he was forced by hunger or thirst or excretory options to bang on the door until they remembered him again. He eventually grew fond of the closet and would act out in order to be sent there, and by the time I met him when he was about eighteen he claimed to do his best thinking in small, dark, confined spaces.

This explains much about my friend, and he would often disappear for a day or so when things got bad. If we needed him, we could find him in the closet. Everyone regarded this as a harmless eccentricity and never really talked about it, but on the day that he and Jacinda fell in love with an audible thump I mentioned that he might want to warn her about his occasional disappearing act. Alex, fathoms deep in love already, claimed that he wouldn't ever need the closet again because now he had 'Cinda. Which was very romantic and all but certainly a lie, and sure enough after they'd been married for a while he vanished. She called looking for him and I told her to check the closet, and there he was, sitting cross-legged on the floor and thinking. He still does this today, only now his small daughter thinks it's a very good game of hide-and-seek and continually destroys his secret quiet time, and I've started to hope that he'll soon stop hiding in closets.

I have been sick, sick, sick this week, something about staying out much later than I should be while it's been cold. I'm mostly better now but I can't hear a thing, and though I have claimed grandly to be dying of Legionnaire's Disease it's probably just a bad cold.

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