Status report: Today, I worked on Chapter 2. I will be working on Chapter 2 late into the night. But I took some time to go to my favorite antiques store, where I did something that may be very silly, I don’t know. I bought a chair. This chair, specifically:
I know, the upholstery is tattered and stained. But the chair itself is a lovely old Victorian piece, with roses carved on the top. (Those did not come through well in the photograph.) It will need to be reupholstered, of course, which means that my $40 chair (yes, that’s how much I paid for it) will probably need another $140 worth of work. But I saw it sitting outside the antiques store, and something drew me to it. Some pieces of furniture have a sort of charm about them, something that makes them particularly attractive. I liked its proportions and how low it was: the perfect height for me. I can imagine it reupholstered in a Waverly pattern, perhaps something with roses on it. And I have to say, when I sit in the chair, even in its current tattered state, it has a sort of magic about it: I feel calmer. I think proportions do that to us, make us feel certain ways. In my grandmother’s apartment in Budapest, with its 18-foot ceilings and enormous windows, I always feel calm and at ease.
And I need calm now, because my life is a mess. I have so much to do, and there’s simply no way to keep up. You can always tell when my life is a mess, because my room is a mess. There are papers and books on the floor, pictures that still need to be hung up months after I bought them.
The necklace I bought is still on top of the dresser in its box, rather than in its proper place in my jewelry drawer. I still need to move the painting behind the mirror.
The beside table is overflowing with books I haven’t read, although at least I’ve managed to clear off the chair.
There are stickies on the table, because I’ve been marking pages as I read. Research, you know. At least the bed is made. I can’t stand unmade beds.
In the other bedside table is the manuscript for a poetry collection that I’ve had no time to work on. The shelves are covered with writing projects in piles.
The books are completely unorganized, so when I go to look for one, I look on all the shelves, trying to remember where in the world I put it. I miss the days when I knew where my books were, but that was in the apartment, two years ago.
There are stickies on the walls and on my desk. The desk itself has a constantly revolving pile of papers, depending on what I’m working on that day.
I think I have three computers in my room: my current one, my old one, and the netbook. Plus my Blackberry. Well, at least I won’t lose contact with the world.
The other desk is covered with the dissertation, in piles. Also my calender, marked to show all the deadlines. There are so many of them!
And that’s the end of the tour. The desk with piles, the printer. Paper, paper everywhere. When I die, will I be held personally responsible for the deaths of all those trees?
I know, all I’m doing in this blog post is complaining. But that’s all I have for you tonight: complaints and the knowledge that I need to get back to Chapter 2.
Someday, and it’s going to be someday soon, I’ll have a space I love. It’s going to be perfectly organized, and everything will be in the right place. I’ll know where my books are. The paintings will be hung, properly framed, on the walls. There will be no piles on the floor. The new chair will be reupholstered, and I will sit in it, looking around, pleased and satisfied. Until then, I’ll do the best I can with what I have, even if I sigh when I look at it. And I’ll trust that it’s coming – the place in which I’m going to write all those brilliant books.