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The Woman in Your Closet

September 2, 2008

We’ve all asked ourselves this question at some point: What if there is someone living in my apartment and I don’t even know it?

I tagged an article back in May about a Japanese woman in Fukuoka who was discovered living in a man’s wardrobe. A man she didn’t know. And he definitely didn’t know her.

You read this, and you think okay, that’s odd, but it’s completely possible that someone could slip into your apartment, fall asleep in your closet, and hope you weren’t coming home for a few days.

But no. This woman lived there for almost a year. Not all the time, but quite frequently. She ate the guy’s food, and she walked around when he wasn’t there. He only discovered her after he noticed the missing food and installed security cameras. She said she had nowhere else to live, so she stashed a tiny mattress in the wardrobe and hung out in there whenever the man was home.

Imagine if the four Pevensie children in the Narnia books had opened the magical wardrobe to find a homeless woman sleeping there on a tiny mattress. They probably would have called the police, used the wardrobe for kindling, and avoided all those otherworldly shenanigans.

All in all, it’s a rather creative solution for a homeless person. I’m just amazed the woman would willingly confine herself to such a small space for such long periods of time. What if she had to go to the bathroom? How many other people are living like this?

Honestly, when I read the article a few months ago, I went over to my closet and checked around behind my clothes for a cubby hole. If someone had managed to get in there, I’d never notice them if they kept their smell to a minimum (they’d have use of my showers during the day). In fact, they’d have free range of any unit in the building. Just crawl through the ducts, carve a hole behind someone’s clothes, and you have access to all their stuff when they’re away.

Go ahead. Check your closets. Just in case.

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