We are getting ready to go to the laundromat. Mary is telling me about one of the houses she cleans. Her eyes have taken on that misty look she reserves for well-made shoes and encounters with puppies.
“Closets and shelves, man! The place is loaded with closets and shelves!”
She pauses. “They’re rich, you know.”
We take the opportunity to look around her living room.
“What do you think?” she says. “When was this place built? 1960? 1962? There are three closets in this whole joint!”
It’s true. “Look at this,” she says. I follow her into her bedroom. She opens the closet door. “What’s that? Three feet wide, three feet deep? Didn’t they wear clothes in the sixties?”
“Not to hear my dad tell it, no.”
We go back into the living room, where I take my place on the couch. T-Bone, Labrador of Unquestioned Sincerity and Flatulent Observer puts his head in my lap. T-Bone decided some time ago that he loved me and he has not wavered in his devotion since that time.
“You’ve seen my house, right? We actually have one less closet than you do!”
Mary takes a drag off her cigarette. “We may,” she exhales, “have hit upon what divides the Haves from the Have-Nots.”
She nods. “Yes. Well, that and mud rooms.”
“I have never once lived in a house with a mud room.”
Mary laughs. “I have, but here we call it the living room.”
And we both laugh, comfortable in our getting-by-and-okay-with-it status.
“Still,” she says, snubbing out her cigarette. “How cool would it be to have a little closet space?”
She pulls my winter coat off the coat rack next to the front door, hands it to me, and roots around under an array of her and Jon’s coats for the one she’s looking for.
She finds it, puts it on, and grabs her purse, shaking her head. “Can you imagine having somewhere to put your stuff?” She shakes her head again. "Man."
17 hours ago