My Dream Closet

March 1, 2011 Comments Off on My Dream Closet

Sometime this year I will most likely move in with Simon…we’re going to start looking for a place once we get back from New Zealand in mid-April. The apartment he has now is spacious and pretty nice, but (a) he has a nosy born-again landlady who wouldn’t give us any privacy, and (b) it came “furnished,” which in this case means armchairs and lamps, in prodigious quantities, leaving no room for our own stuff. But the reason I regret giving up Simon’s place is that it has four walk-in closets, which I have gradually come to obsess over.

Forget dream houses—I’ve started planning my dream closet. Along one wall will be my desk with a computer and all my notebooks and writing utensils and folders and paper and maybe a printer. Along the other wall, hopefully close enough that I can just spin around in my chair and be right in front of it, will be my keyboard, complete with headphones, manuscript books, and pencils. In between them, on the side away from the door, will be a bookcase with dictionary, thesaurus, complete Shakespeare, poetry books, and notation and orchestration textbooks. If there is room on top or maybe to one side I will have a fish tank and/or my tea station (cheap Target shelving unit with electric kettle, assorted teas, mugs, and tea paraphernalia). Wherever I can fit them in, there will be candles.

When we were in Rochester a couple weeks ago, everyone talked up Simon’s grandmother’s writing space: “Lots of windows,” they said wonderingly, “in a big room where you can see the birdfeeders.” She herself was disdainful of my closet because it had no windows. But I would never get anything done if I could watch the birds and squirrels at the birdfeeder—I don’t really do woodland creatures, anyway—and windows scare me at night, when you can’t see what’s looking in at you. I’d just keep it covered all the time. And big spaces are equally distracting, especially the Lanks’ office. Too many desks, too many pictures, too much going on. It was a lovely room, but I could never write there. I do very well in small spaces; in fact, when I get in certain vulnerable moods the thing that helps the most is to put on a big sweatshirt and put the hood up. Small spaces make me feel safe, make me feel like myself. For someone like me to be creative, one needs a closet of one’s own. And I hereby announce my intention to have one. It will be wonderful and cozy, with no windows and no distractions, and I will make it extremely private and never let anyone—not even the cat—inside.

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