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29 The Cupboard

hexagram-29-cupboard‘THE MOTHER NEEDS rest. From the nurses’ muster point you can see the stationery
cupboard, door open. Baby lies asleep on a mattress of Jiffy bags.’

We seldom turn to look when hinges squeal. Discreetly accurate, they
are mostly silent, even if lacking ball bearings. Complex things often
outlive simple things – a panel of wood, a unicellular organism. Guileless
creatures have the shortest span, whereas many who walk past cupboards
lead long lives, never opening them, nor wondering what’s inside.

1st – The Somnambulist’s Cupboard
O world of jagged edges! Raised knives swing down in heartless radii.
The golem stands rigid in his cupboard, like a missile, dream-controlled.
Our sleuth finds only a dummy. The asylum holds further mysteries …
but no body. The woman was so beautiful, he abducted her instead.

2nd – The Toy Cupboard
Blyton’s dubious exotics endure house arrest on the top shelf. Still hard to
reach are special toys like the Avengers set with Elan, Bentley, two avatars
and three umbrellas; and the Predictor (friend to anti-aircraft fire) on three
wobbly legs. On the lowest shelves are sundry bears of conflicted status.

3rd – The Political Cupboard
Sell-by dates are regularly patrolled: labels face outwards. One by-law
is: be sorry when you’ve unwittingly bought a duplicate. Some know the
half-lives of ginger, tapenade, capers; others peer and sniff. The final
straw is that yellow patina on the shelf: a finger sweep decides the day.

4th – The Linen Cupboard
Since nurses are occupying all the rooms near Grandfather’s, she sleeps
for once in the domestic wing; and gets to see the renowned walk-in linen
closet – a pantry for fabrics! Stains on percale sheets are faint as winter
shadows – uncomplaining bruises of loyal industry, toiling at tradition.

5th – The Cupboard Where Trouble Starts
He’s chatting to the client when water starts pouring out of the shower
pump. Clipping pipes in the airing cupboard must have started vibrations.
A piddly little washer was all that connected the hot/cold mix output
with the pump assembly. It was all a brand-new gig – faulty out of the box!

6th – The Broom Cupboard
Carefree moments in the Mandarin Oriental: a chambermaid with a
poker star, at play among her utensils. They leave singly, in an aura of
dried disinfectant. It’s embarrassing, walking into another cupboard, his
glasses still in his case. The bellhop imagines him squinting at a royal flush.

All six – The Hideaway Cupboard
An elder sister with closed eyes is counting. By the time she reaches a
hundred, he knows the place well, what movements he can make and what
he can reliably lean on. Footsteps come near, recede, return. She lets in a
flood of bullying light and laughter. Good morning, heartless Vienna!

Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos


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