Thursday, August 29, 2013

sonny's closet

I expect to find many strange secrets in my father's house when he leaves this earthly world, in fact I already have. Like most Depression era babies he wastes nothing so the seven green beans are carefully sealed in a baggie and plopped in the freezer next to all the other little baggies and a chunk of cream cheese two years expired.

He left for ten days on a vacation a couple of months ago and when I dropped off the first day's mail I saw a blackened banana on the kitchen counter. He will return from southern Missouri expecting to slice that gooey thing on his morning Grape Nuts.

Under his bathroom sink is a three-gallon-sized basin filled with tiny slivers of soap, all too small to use and I surmise there is about ninety of them. Why they are there remains a deep-seated mystery to me, does he melt them down and put the sludge in ice cube trays to harden and reuse?  I don't know, nobody knows.

His closets are scary. He never throws anything out and he takes great pride buying used stuff at Goodwill and other such places. His corduroy slacks have smooth shiny seats and he retreads his forty-year-old shoes at the shoe shop. Who goes to a shoe shop? The shirts are so tightly packed it is difficult to extract one and why do you even bother ironing those shirts? All that compression just wrinkles them up again.

I pick him up on  the fourth of July and I cringe at his clothing choices. He is wearing copper-colored jeans, an ugly color like something you would see at the bottom of a smelting pot and they are three inches above his ankles. And this tight white nylon shirt circa 1990's  that looks like a woman's blouse. There are red and blue stripes bordering the hem and sleeves and the front pocket, thus the patriotic angle. And little red and blue flying bird appliques dotting the front. Seems it belonged to my Uncle Flash now deceased ten years and he always had a huge honking cigar in his mouth and the hot drifting ashes made quick waste of that highly flammable material. So my aunt pasted on these little flying birds over the holes.

I love these old people in my life and I plant red geraniums on that uncle's grave every year. He wore red jumpsuits and had Milky Way dark chocolates in his pocket and he fried potatoes and onions at our lakeside cabin when I was a youngster. Tonight I fry those same potatoes and will deliver them to his widow in the morning.

no more wire hangers, yo mummy dearest

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Appliqued birds? Hahahahahaha! But seriously, that closet looks a little like mine. I am the child of a post-war rationing family and I regularly wear clothes that are over 30 years old, when they still fit me, which is less often. Still, at least I bought the originals...(I've read about that saving the soap thing too...but I draw the line at that cost saver..*shudder*)