I’m against war¹, but ho-lee, do I like war games. Now not those gunny console cartridges, or the paint firearms shooting paint bullets, or the training exercises that the big men do to show how big they are when there’s no actual danger. My personal interest lies in equating a daily struggle I face with a real-life real-time battle scenario, then using cunning and top notch thoughts to determine the course of action needed to come out on top.
My partner and I have recently begun sharing a closet, a fitted space about seven feet long. Although she has slightly more clothing than myself, somehow we agree from the get go that half of the closet would be hers, and half would be mine. For the first few weeks in the new place, neutrality is the norm, and the established imaginary borders are effective separators. Each side lives happily and amicably in peace time, and no conflict is on the horizontal pole holding the hangers.
Lately, however, I’ve started to notice certain tactics being used to disrupt the equality. Dresses and tank tops are creeping into my half of the closet, but all quite subtly. They’re mostly black and simple and they blend in well with my own items. And it’s only a couple of things. It could be a mistake. Heck, maybe I hung them up over there by mistake. But if this was the case, after becoming aware are cautious, it would likely come to an end. But this doesn’t happen. A couple of items turned into several, which turned into many. Attacked on multiple fronts, I find them strewn throughout my side, and in order to maintain harmony, I let them be. I have hope that the appeasement will lead to a new balance, and her clothes will be fine just taking up some of my space.
But at a tipping point, I start to move some of her clothes back to her side. Then, over and over, after I make some room for mine, I find more and more coming back to mine. A large fur coat in the middle of my pants is found to be my breaking point, and a Viet Cong² strategy is employed from my end. But not like how you’d think, where I’d start putting my clothes amongst hers, in her drawers and on her side where she might not notice them. No, instead I’ve started taking the hangars from her side, which are in limited supply, so I can hang up more of my clothes on my own side.
For a while, we each hold own own, with attacks of shirts and counter attacks of skirts. Shoes seemingly march themselves into my floor space, and so they’re sent back with sneakers of my own. Attirition begins, with certain regulars in the wardrobe getting “lost” for days on end, then months. She sends insurgents in on these suicide missions, knowing I will find them and toss them to the ground. But I’ll be so distracted by this that she’s able to hide her hats my shelf. A flurry of activity continues, and she gets the upper hand with some chemical warfare, as her perfume takes over the entire closet, and then the room. I can’t take it any more, with my sensitive nose and all, and I call for an armistice. She laughs, exerting her confidence and making me shudder as I realize she will not end the fight until the entire closet and possibly room is hers.
I go for a walk to consider my next step, if I even have the energy, and when I come home the front door is locked. I try my key but it doesn’t work. I knew it wouldn’t. I peek in through the window and see her clothes dangling from every wall, in every room, and then I notice a small fire in the kitchen sink. One by one, my favourite and then less-so articles of clothing are added to the blaze until there is nothing left. I’m on the porch, cold enough as it is, when I look down and see that I am naked. Somehow, the shirt and pants off my back and legs had been taken from me while I stood outside.
I turn around and walk straight to the beach. The sand feels nice between my toes, and I continue toward the water, eventually submerging myself completely and returning to the sea, clothesless as could be, naked as they come, the unequivocal loser in the first and last War of the Closet.
¹ [Editor’s note: What a bold stance to take…]
² [Editor’s query: There’s a long-standing low-level Rare employee who’s being trying unsuccessfully since the early 90s to give a DKC villain the name Viet Kong.]