It’s just a stack of big heavy books and laundry supplies in the doorway. No big deal.

One recent evening, as the adults in the household were getting ready for bed, my husband’s sock snagged on a tiny splinter of wood from the wood floor, right in the doorway to our room. “Hey,” he said, annoyed. He bent and and felt the little flaw with his fingers. “I better glue that down,” he said. I was sitting on the bed folding the last few laundry items that had been piled up there for hours; there was no going to bed without folding the laundry first. Hence, my back was facing my husband as he got down and did some futzing around with stuff at the floor in the middle of the doorway.

I got up, holding a stack of clean towels, and noticed that while my husband was no longer in the doorway, there was, instead, a rather imposing little tower. We had, in the middle of the doorway, the following items, which are, you’ll note, mostly very large, heavy books:

The Grove Dictionary of Jazz; the Washburn Bible; Roz Chast’s Theories of Everything; a collection of works by Lewis Carroll; and a brand new, full, 5 lb. tub of OxiClean.

In the middle of the doorway.

I gave my husband a skeptical look. “What,” he said.
“What if the cats trip on this?” I said.
“The cats can see in the dark,” he said.
“What if trip on it? when I go the bathroom in the night?”
“You’ll see it there; there’s a nightlight in the hall.”
I sighed.
“This would make a great Roz Chast cartoon,” my husband observed cheerfully, settling in with his book. Annoyed as I was, I had to laugh at that.

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