It’s a metaphor for storage, for the past, or for things that may remain hidden away: the closet.
It’s a place for some people to emerge from, because they’ve been hiding in it for protection from someone or something nasty.
It’s a place to hide your past, your insecurities, and those bad memories.
It’s a smokescreen, a duck-blind, a refuge – a place to hide the truth from yourself, a diversion to pretend things are better than they are.
I’ve prided myself on being honest and straight-forward, on being someone who doesn’t feel shame for past mistakes. And yet, you cannot wear the past on your back everywhere you go. That’s for stronger beings than me (like crabs or snails). It has to be stashed somewhere, packed up, tucked away from your current life (therapists are really closet organizers – everything’s still there, just easier to recognize and manage).
All this is just so you can *have* a current life, and rebuild new healthy contexts and interactions. The present must transform into the past, eventually. Otherwise, you’ll make people roll their eyes and feel uncomfortable at parties. Leave that shit at home, please.
So, I see my past as a large walk-in closet, behind a thick door. The door gives direct access but opens outward, and there’s a lot of stuff piled up behind it. My conceit is also my fear: when opened for someone, all my crap will spill out, and simultaneously impress and alienate whomever sees it.
The thing is, I’m fooling myself into pretending the closet is secret or private. In actual fact, I’ve been spilling my guts in one way or another for almost 20 years. The other side of the closet is made of magical glass walls, like an infinitely large display case. From the outside, it’s a huge diarama: an organized, staged display of various wonders and horrors, which I weakly attempt to curate like an amateur PT Barnum, or that Ripley guy. (Step right up, folks!)
But I do want to share it with you. I want you to spend time looking around, but I guess I’m afraid that after you do, you might never want to visit again.
Anyway, thanks for your interest. Here – let me stamp the back of your hand. Don’t worry, that mark should wear off in a few days.
Have a good time, my friend.