not a closet

It’s not a closet, it’s a box. An heirloom in the box. Like packing away an heirloom inside a box, sealing the package, and placing it in the back corners of the attic. But the things is, the box contains something important to you. The box contains something you think about everyday. The box contains something not chosen, but gifted upon you. The box contains something that, whether or not you initially wanted it, holds sentimental value. An heirloom that holds a part of you, possibly tells a portion of the story of who you are. Everyday you want to retrieve the box, unseal it, and appreciate the beauty of what’s inside. Instead, you leave it in the box, in the corner of the attic, because someone else said your heirloom was ugly.

It’s not a closet, it’s prison. Feeling like a prisoner in a cage. Someone locked you inside a cell, took the key, and began to dictate your life. Away from home, away from comfort, away from love…you’re trapped. But you’re actually innocent. Not a criminal. You don’t deserve a cage. You deserve freedom, a life, opportunity, family, friends. Instead you’re confined in prison with someone else telling you who you can talk to, where to sit, and what to wear. Bound by rules intended to control, rehabilitate, and punish… but you’ve done nothing wrong.

It’s not a closet, it’s a show. A magic show or a reality show. People paying for, expecting, cheering for you to pull a rabbit out a hat. Waiting for you to produce a dove out of a hankie. Waiting for you to turn the lady that you’ve just shielded behind a curtain, into a man. But you’re no magician; it’s an illusion. The blogs, social media, and good old fashioned gossip revel in the latest and greatest of your life as they watch in expectant anticipation your rises and falls. Waiting each week to be entertained by the new episode giving a peak into your everyday life. They don’t realise, though, your “reality” is actually scripted. You’re an actor. You simply play the part.

It’s not a closet, it’s makeup. Everyday you wake up in the morning, earlier than you actually need to. Head to the mirror, pull out your supplies and begin to paint. Bronzer on the face for a touch of a glowing tan. Liner on the lips to make them appear fuller than they actually are. Shadow on the eyes for effect. Contour for defined cheekbones. Powders, creams, lipstick, most importantly, concealer… Though you’d rather just get up and go, the world expects more. An hour later you look brand new. but it’s not actually you.

It’s not a closet, it’s a safe internship. You show up each day with a smile on your face, whether you feel like smiling or not. You move through departments and change your persona based on who’s around. You talk to Boss A about golf, Boss B about literature, and Boss C about stocks. Making sure you always stay clear of hot topics such as politics or religion. You fetch specially made to order coffees, ridiculously detailed sandwiches, and bend over backwards for everyone day after day. This internship; safe? But without pay, without beneficial experience, without any chance for advancement or employment.

It’s not hiding, it’s being packed away in a box. It’s not safe and dark behind a closed door, it’s the harsh light and metal of steel bars in a cage. It’s not avoidance or convenience or a coverup; it’s the developing skill of balancing what everyone wants to watch and see and the actual reality. It’s not a stepping stone or better move, and it’s not a quiet invisible stand in the background while everything buzzes around you. It’s daily hard work, with no promise of a positive yield. It’s exhausting. It’s not a closet.


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