On Sunday (her only day off), I tried to cajole Mom into organizing the guest bedroom closet, which houses her collection of cheapo pastel cotton clothing that she buys from one of Dad's medical patients out of their home store/garage. You can’t walk into the closet without feeling irritated by the plastic bags housing giant, billowy comforters that take up most of the floor and tangle with your feet like leeches.
Mom grumbled about not wanting to clean, but followed me into the guest room anyway.
In addition to the usual jumble, there were several other bags crowding the floor. Mom brings five bags to and from work, and tosses them in random places when she gets home.
I watched as she rummaged through everything, unearthing Tupperware, smashed newspaper clippings, various-SPF tinted moisturizer tubes, Sudoku fun time, crumb-filled magazines, piles of scratch paper cut into random sizes, bobby pins, medical billing papers, crunchy Japanese broad beans, hairbrushes, and library books featuring knitting tutorials, British writers and Taiwanese schoolteachers.
She paused when she reached a mysterious plastic bag.
“What’s this? Oh!”
It was salami and a trio of Trader Joe's cheeses.
“How long has this been here?” I asked.
She couldn’t remember. “Four days?” she mused. She opened the salami and commenced a smörgåsbord.