It crunches. It splinters. It crashes. The woman looks up from WhatsApp and asks horrified: “What was that?”
A bizarre picture in the bedroom: In a tangle of plywood crumbs and protruding screws, two old Ikea wardrobes from the “Pax” brand lean to one side where a bookshelf stopped their fall.
I take a few photos for Instagram and joke: “Peace to the cupboards”. Because of ‘Pax’, you see? “The woman is not in the least amused.
Her habit of simply forcing excess clothing into the compartments has blown off the nailed back panels and caused the collapse. “You just have too many clothes,” I say sternly. “We have to muck out!”
The woman tears open one of my closets: “What about your suits?”
You have to know that you used to wear something like that in the editorial office. And you always had to buy new ones. Sometimes double-breasted suits were modern. Then pinstripes. The lapel length kept changing anyway.
I let my fingers slide over the noble fabrics and sigh: “Look, if I were a tree, these are my annual rings.” On the left is size 102, when I was slim when I was young. A dozen of them follow in a belly-concealing 106. On the far right, classic cuts in size 112. The fat years. Unfortunately too tight today.
I say in a firm voice: “What about the suits? I need all of them when I’ve lost weight again. ”The woman laughs scornfully and starts tossing my stuff on the bed.
A day later I wistfully drive to the old clothes collection. All suits gone. Plus 50 shirts and a box of designer shoes that have become too tight.
I comfort myself with the thought that the new owners will look very good. And with the prospect of two meters of free closet space for new cardigans.
When I get home everything is already full. The woman stands in the midst of torn open Zalando packages and tries on new things. I gasp indignantly, but now she’s joking: “Peace to your suits! It was actually a nice bon mot. “