Journal Entry from a Man in a Closet

Man trapped inside of a closet writes about his experiences


Alex Ralston


The nights are cold, the days are long and dry. The climate here mostly stays constant, a lip-cracking, sweat-inducing 74˚ F, aside from a few days where the thermostat malfunctions. The few blankets there are come as a burden in the daytime and slight relief in the nighttime. Such conditions deter and discourage any sort of wildlife, except for those ants in the corner that keep attacking my bag of Funyuns. The carpet is fractured, the paint on the walls have faded, and such can be said of my soul as well.

The overwhelming monotony of closet life is enough to drive a person to insanity if not for the few pleasures they can muster. This solitaire set is truly all that can stimulate my mind. The pages in my books have been used up for bathroom purposes, and the batteries in the Game Boy have long been depleted of their charge. Sometimes to escape the loneliness, one must make friends of their own, conjuring whatever happiness there is from past experience and projecting it onto everyday objects, i.e., a Mason jar.

The food here is stale, molded, and salty. These Rold Gold pretzels have been reduced to slightly moist and tough dough, and their bag’s lettering has gone. Every once in a while, the exoskeleton of a past insect tempts the palate, but one must remember their civilized tendencies and stray from such primal pabula. The landscape must make not a beast of man; man must tame such animalistic musings and lay them to rest, if only to retain to his wits should he return home someday. Sometimes all one can do is pick his brain for morsels and feed on thought, hour by hour, day by day.

Briefly I have entailed life in the closet, but for whom? I cannot say. My exploits will follow in detail, as I record the days in length. I must remember language above all, for that is what separates mankind and myself from the vast majority of creatures on this world.


Today was the driest of all. The water has been banished, expelled from the earth and all the containers that were once full litter the floor. All that remains is dust and empty Mason jars, and I have sat entertaining myself by slapping my stomach in an effort to make drum noises. I found bottles of old tempera paint, and I have been finger painting on the walls since then. As I habitually grabbed a Mason jar for water (of which there was none), I left a handprint on it. I stared at this handprint, and at some point felt it was staring at me. I made a face on it, an ambiguous expression able to be interpreted in whichever way possible. I studied the jar’s features. And so Mason came into this desolate life of mine.


It’s lonely in here. I have said it before, but the paralyzing reality just hit me with its fullest brunt, wanting me to feel the isolation in the lowest and coldest depths of my body. In the corner, my bag of Funyuns sits aloof; its contents stubbornly refuse to be eaten and I refuse to eat them. Out of the darkness, though, came a light: in an old soccer bag, a found packet of Gatorade mix. There is little water, so all that can be used to dissolve it is saliva. Little compares to the texture of slightly wetted Gatorade powder — it brings to mind the resulting dust pile from a sweeping session, but with a sweeter flavor.

Within this closet is deafening silence and the darkest shadows, without is solemnity and festive occasion. It’s New Year’s Eve, and spirits outside run high, but my spirits have run dry. The sounds and ghosts of parties haunt me, and I’m stuck with a mouthful of semi-dry Gatorade mix and an empty stomach. Mason sits on a shelf and I am left by my lonesome, left to digest the half-smothered acoustics from the New Years gaiety. There is a stifling juxtaposition between them, the party poppers, and the closet, which is the party pooper. Through the crack between the door and the floor, a haze of glitter blows.

What is my fate here? What else remains?


It’s funny how a man loses track of time inside of a closet. It’s really here where the bare bones of humanity show through. The pretenses float away, the concept of time fades, and one is left to ponder the most basic philosophy. Who is in control? Where do we go when we die? Am I the only real one here? What do they even make Funyuns out of? Even Nietzsche couldn’t handle these things. Mason broke down yesterday, or rather he just broke. I fumbled his body as I embraced him, and onto the floor he fell. Nothing remains but glass shards and dried red paint. I held a fitting funeral for him, said my prayers, and placed his remains inside of the Rold Gold bag. I will miss him and his unconditional friendship.


I sat, wondering in despair about this plight of mine. It occurred to me that all this doesn’t mean much of anything, but this realization did not come without anger. I lashed out at the surrounding walls, howling out profanities, in a desperate and final attempt to escape this realm of nothingness. In this tantrum, my hand hit the doorknob and the door flung open. The sun hit my pupils, and blinded me. What was that strange light? I wondered, could this be the other side? Had I passed on and transcended the human realm? As I peeked my head out of the closet, things began to take shape. What forms are these? A bed?

This is my room. Huh.


Disregard the last several entries. I am slightly ashamed of my idiocy.