Angry and Neurotic Doors

My closet door never shuts completely after I close it, and it annoys me, as if it is sending me some kind of warning about the fashion quality of my wardrobe.  Doors that never close completely after I shut them perturb the heck out of me, when always having to constantly make sure the door is shut all the way.

What is the function of a door?  Of any doors?  According to an online article titled “The History and Functions of Doors” from the Article Niche Project’s website, the function of doors is “to either keep something (or someone) in or out of an area.”  The article then goes on to differentiate between interior and exterior doors, saying that interior doors are found on the inside of a building, such as bedroom and bathroom doors, and exterior doors have at least one side exposed to the outside.

The most annoying use for a door: expressing anger by slamming it.  When someone slams a door in your face, it hurts.  The high uproarious sound of wood smacking against the doorframe scares you, as if a jolt of electricity has zapped your upper-body.  It is the one of the worst metaphors to express human anger; it is only funny when the person slams the door and the door does not shut all the way.

Why does someone slam the door when they are angry?  It is because he or she is at loss for words, and the sharp, loud sound of a door slamming is the only way to express that anger.

Many times when people are not angry, they are sad.  We tell those people to “open up”–like a door–and share their feelings.  We do not want them to hide their feelings.

One of my favorite anime series is “Welcome to the N.H.K.,” which is about a twenty-two-year-old, unemployed college dropout named Sato.  He is what is called in Japan a “hikikomori,” or a social outcast.  He lives by himself in a cramped studio apartment, littered everywhere with garbage and cigarette butts, and he is supported by his parents.

For an antisocial recluse, the door is an important symbol for Sato.  It is a struggle for him to leave his apartment.  He usually leaves his building with his friend Yamazaki or to meet at the park with Misaki, an eighteen-year-old girl who helps Sato with his hikikomori dilemma.  The function of Sato’s door is to keep him in his apartment.  He fears others coming into his apartment because of all the trash, as in one episode where he thought a person he met in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game was at his apartment door.  (The person was actually his friend Yamazaki who had been playing as the avatar Sato was befriending online.)

Doors have often been barriers to the socially impaired.  The socially impaired need doors to hide the causes of their insecurities, like the garbage surrounding Sato in his apartment.


Illustration by Danielle Burch