Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Nancy Out of the House, Day Three: Right-Angles
This stage of relative disrepair I count as complete victory; I am the Alexander the Great of housekeeping.
Really at this stage, all that is required is to set everything at right angles to some other thing.
Isn't that remarkable? Take an unsightly pile of credit card offers and past-due bills stacked in a heap. Ugly, isn't it? Untidy? Simply rearrange them so their corners touch and place them parallel to the edge of whatever surface you have them stacked upon, and voila! Instant order. Ditto for the random assemblage of stuff on the coffee table before me. The light board and raisin-bag I have alluded to already, but there is also a box of tissues, an iPad, and a Bible. I use the Bible in preparation for Sunday school class, and right now the light board is sitting on top of it. In the region of Georgia I was raised in, setting anything on top of the Bible was a ticket straight to aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks, but I'm more concerned now with the wrath of Nancy than the wrath of God.)
As an experiment, I paused in my blog-writing and put my theory into effect. Now all the items on the coffee table are arranged in a straight line. The light board, the Bible (on top of it is a book of Isaac Bashevis Singer stories I'd overlooked, sandwiched as they were between the Bible and light board) three remotes, the aforesaid bag of raisins, the iPod, and the Kleenex. I have imposed an unmistakable order on the items; it is the order of a madman, true, an order that conforms to no logic but the inner voices of a schizophrenic, but it is clearly order. Likewise, the pile of junk mail is a pile no longer; it is plainly a stack. Everything sits squarely, arranged in size from catalogs on the bottom to postcards on top.
One thing I neglected to mention earlier was a jar of black plaka - a sort of watercolor. I took this into the office. There I saw in merry disarray, a book of Escher prints, another book by Heinrich Kley, the magnifier from my OED sitting on a drawing by Charles Bragg, and numerous loose papers with various renditions of a dragonfly with a motorcycle engine for an abdomen (don't ask). I placed the plaka on the desk, turned off the light, and quietly closed the door behind me.
Even Alexander the Great got no farther than India.