It’s a man’s cupboard

10 Jun

Tom has a cupboard in our house full of – what looks to me – rubbish. It has old leads, computer parts, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, t.v. boxes, phones. You name it, he’s hoarded it. I try to ignore this cupboard. It upsets me to think about it. In the past, I’ve tried to understand it. I’ve dug deep into his mind, but I just can’t make sense of it – both as a concept and as a physical thing.  Who needs to keep the Nokia they had when they were 17 – the first Nokia to hit the market.

Yesterday, I was asked to enter the junk wilderness and find something for him in the chaos. As I opened the door, things started flying at me. Poltergeist? No, just a very loaded cupboard with absolutely no order. I say no order, I am sure Tom thinks it is a well organised, tidy cupboard full of vital parts.

As the cupboard started crumbling around me, I feared for Toby’s life –  I feared for my life. Once the confusion of flying debris had passed, I found the box he was looking for and attempted to climb out of the wreckage. For a second, I smelt freedom but at that point I somehow managed to get a metal structure stuck between my big toe and the one next to it (not sure what it’s called??). Before I knew it, I’d lifted my foot up and attempted to put it down with said metal structure attached. This did not work. I found myself rolling, combat style across the room, twisting my toes on the fall and crumpling into a heap. Screaming in agony, Toby came running to see what all the commotion was about. He walked slowly up to his broken mother, looked me in the eye and started crying. I’d scared him… And I now have a very mangled, bruised and swollen toe.

This incident got me thinking again about the awful cupboard and the horror that resides. Why do we have it? It could be put to good use. Toby could certainly do with a cupboard. I happened to be involved in email banter with some of Tom’s male friends yesterday (I’m part of their team in a 24 hour mountain bike race and emails were flying around on this topic). In one reply I asked them whether they all had this apparently essential cupboard. The response was overwhelmingly in the positive. And I racked my brains and visions of my grandfather and father’s electronic rooms came to me (not cupboards, but rooms). Is this a universal phenomenon? A rite of passage to manhood?

My conclusion: we need a bigger house – one side for Tom and all his rubbish and one side for me. I refuse to die buried under a heap of leads.

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