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The Woman in My Closet

by Ann Gang

There's a woman in my closet. She's been there for about 6 years now. She looks down at me and although it is dark, I can see her smiling. It's a sly, smug kind of smile. It's because she knows; she remembers. I don't need to remember because she does it for me. And she is always ready to remind me. Sometimes she yells at me to take better care of myself. She's all the way in the back of that dark closet, yet she yells so loud that I'm afraid someone might hear her. It's funny but she doesn't yell to get out and she only yells at me. She shakes her head and gets on this rant about taking care of myself, exercise, eat right, do monthly breast checks, she goes through the whole list. The cat is not bothered by her. There are times that I just stand there staring at her. I like to watch her when she sleeps. I ask myself if it is time for her to move on; go to someone else and help them. After all she spent enough time here. She sleeps a lot because besides reminding me to take care of myself, there is little else she needs to do. She might be better off somewhere else. But I'm afraid for her to leave. If she leaves, who will remind me? If she leaves, will I forget altogether? And what if I need her again; really need her? I know she is nothing like she once was. Her hair is smooth, soft and short. Mine is curly. She is the ghost of someone else. She is a gift from a faraway land. She came when it was cold, dark and cloudy. She was young, as I was. She did her job and she did it well. Yet for all the good that she did, she was most pleased when she moved into the closet. It was sunny and golden then. It meant that her shift was over. It meant that she had done what she came to do. It's funny that for as much as I am afraid for her to go, I will not miss her at all. Good bye and please don't return. I never want to see you or any one from your family again. You have over stayed your welcome and it is time for you to help another. Just go. There is no need for any pomp or circumstance. Leave now and free that space in the closet for an old sweater or something that I have more use for. You can tell me one last time about taking care of myself and then it is time for you to go. I don't need you to remind me anymore. I have survived this long and will be stronger once you leave. It's time to wipe that smug smile off your face. Good bye you old wig.

Ann says, "A little while ago I found myself staring at my wig which is still in my closet. I started to talk to it/myself. It had been 6 years since I adopted 'Ulma'. That was her name. I decided it was time to let her move on and help someone else. She defined me during the journey; but I now call the shots."