False-Bottom Suitcase

A woman I knew flew into New York from Amsterdam in the 1970s with a suitcase packed with enough hashish to lift off the 82nd Airborne. She was saved from discovery by her cribbage board. The customs agent in New York, overlooked the false bottom in the suitcase while describing cribbage with his dear old mum.

The image of a false-bottom suitcase came to mind the other day as I pondered my new reality. In repayment for a favor, I have allowed a friend to move in with me for a few months while he searches for a new house.

The roommate is a friend from my men’s group and thus, by definition, committed to personal growth and communication. We also share interests in sports and fitness, and similar political views.

But the house is small, and I’ve been living alone for nearly 10 years. No matter how sensitive or considerate he may be, the dynamic cannot help but be changed.

At the moment, the challenge is compressing his essentials from a three-bedroom house into a bedroom and bathroom of exceedingly modest size. It hasn’t been easy.


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