Despite understanding the whereabouts of my wardrobe, I could not give up the sense -- the conviction even -- that the clothing was still there. Day after day, I'd stomp into the empty room, reach into empty space and be shocked. And a few hours later, I'd do it all again.
It was a piece of insight into how my grand-mother Mimi struggled in her later years. Having spent decades shuttling between summer and winter houses with the station-wagon loaded to the gills, she fixed on the idea of a specific set of blue dishes that she just KNEW were on the top shelf of a closet. She had hauled lamps and vases and pictures from one end to the other of her orbit of the Eastern Seaboard for years, but it was THIS set of dishes that gave her phantom pain.
In those last few years, stopping by Mimi's meant climbing up into the closet and emptying the shelves for Mimi's disappointed inspection. Sometimes twice on a visit. She never stopped believing, I think, even despite every evidence of her senses, that those blue dishes were up there there on that shelf.
Maybe in some parallel universe they still are. Where else could they be?