The closet door in the bedroom had been broken ever since they moved in. Mostly it was just a minor annoyance, nothing the couple couldn’t handle. It only bothered one of them when they forgot about it and tried to close the single white door all the way. It would seem to close but never ‘click’ and it would immediately pop back open as soon as one of the men let the pressure off the handle.
One night, after having a fight with his partner Nick, Alan slammed the closet door closed, only to have it pop right back open. Normally, it wasn’t a big deal, but that night, Alan was so mad, so frustrated with everything, he swore to call management the next day to have a new door put in, along with all new hardware, to ensure the door would close correctly.
When Alan called the building’s manager, Jill, she tried to convince him that it wasn’t a priority. She said there were many other things she had maintenance crews working on and Alan would just have to wait his turn. But she wouldn’t give him a time-frame on when the work might happen.
Nick tried to calm Alan, insisting the door wasn’t the issue, instead, it was their relationship Alan was intent on mending. Nick wanted to try a therapist, a couples therapist, but his partner was focused on fixing that stupid broken closet.
Again, the following week, Alan placed a call to the building manager, demanding the door be replaced or he would fix it himself. Jill informed him, politely, that if he tried to fix the door himself, he could be facing eviction, since all repairs and upgrades had to be done by management as was stated in his lease agreement.
Alan relented. He would wait. But only so long, and if it didn’t get fixed by the end of the month, he would break the lease himself and move out. Nick warned Alan that such threats might get them evicted, regardless. But Alan had moved past the point of reasoning.
The second to last day of the month came and still no work crews arrived to fix Alan and Nick’s closet door. Alan had already signed papers on another apartment, far from the downtown area in which they already lived. Nick was worried that Alan’s insistence on fixing the door, and subsequent moving because of its not being fixed, would irreparably damage their years-long relationship. He had never seen his beloved partner so fixated on something so trivial.
“Alan,” Nick said, as they were drifting off to sleep, “why are you so worried about that damn door? I don’t understand it.”
“It’s not the door itself, love. It’s the eyes. The eyes are killing me.”