Last month, I assisted my father-in-law install a new track for folding doors enclosing the laundry room. After grunting, sweating, hammering and hefting large white doors, we successfully aligned the doors in the new track. Open then gently and they work find.
I told my daughters, “Be gentle with the doors. Don’t bang them open.”
A thought slapped me like wet laundry. I sound like a parent. I regressed to my childhood, running out the back door, letting the screen door slam.
“Don’t slam the door!” my father would yelled. Sometimes, he’d order me back inside and leave again. This time gently closing the door.
Can there ever be a reason to slam a door?
“Where’s that Starbucks receipt? I’m mean who writes phone numbers on paper. He could’ve just sent me a text or, oh I don’t know call? Maybe he doesn’t want me to call him. Oh God, what if this some elaborate prank and he’s laughing to all his Mover & Shaker friends. He said he was sure I was an actress. I just rolled out of bed and was wearing my Kipper Kitty Slippers and was dying for a mocha latte with 2% milk cause I pulled an all-night for the friggin’ English paper about John Muir love affair with trees. I pick up my order and there he is and I act all normal even though I’m in dirty jeans, a Save the Library shirt and a pink robe full of cat hair. When I get home, I put my jeans in the wash and pace the room rehearsing what I’m going to say to him and I can’t find the stupid receipt with his number on it in my robe and what if he’s waiting right now for me to call and if I don’t his ex-girlfriend will call and they’ll get back to together and make cute babies. The washing machine goes slush, slush and damn, damn, damn and I tear open the laundry doors, they fall off the rail and almost kill me. I wish they had ‘cause I pull on the washer door; it’s locked and my whole life is in the rinse cycle.”
Or this reason?
“Angel,” Five year old Nadia drags a large black shoe into her eleven year old brother’s room, “There’s a monster in the laundry.”
Angel puts a magnifying glass to her Nadia’s face. “That’s scientifically impossible. There’s no such thing as monsters.”
Nadia holds up the torn shoe. “It ate the fix-it man.”
Angel inspects the bite marks on the shoe belonging to the Alpaca Appliance Repair Man. Nadia follows her brother to the laundry room. The doors are closed. Angel knocks. “Excuse me, Senor. Are you missing a shoe?”
Something stinking like dirty feet skitters behind the door.
"I’m hungry,” Nadia says.
Angel opens the door. He makes a strangled squeak. The boy bangs the door shut, shoving his back against it.
From the living room, Papa yells, “Don’t slam the door.”
Angel, eyes bulging, tells Nadia, “I know where the other shoe went.”
To slam or not to slam,
That is the question.