I’m trying something new and scary called “organizing.” In spite of what I may state in cover letters, I have no talent for it. I firmly adhere to the aesthetic of rubbish. However, there is a fine line between a charming mess and an unsanitary pit of chaos, and the feng shui of my living space is careening towards the latter. Piles of books, piles of paper, piles of fabric, piles of receipt tape with notes scratched in the plastic coating – I cannot live a Zampano-esque lifestyle; it will not do. It's no wonder that I spend all of my time in the kitchen.
My bedroom contains six full shelves of books, and those that cannot squeeze onto these shelves are scattered in six piles in various places in my bedroom. These shelves are also a haven for kitschy fairy statuettes dismembered by the strikes of mischievous cat paws. It is the home of stuffed rodents, fortune cookie fortunes, and desiccated wisdom teeth in an envelope. There is a preserved rattlesnake head in a glass paperweight and a sizable collection of squirrel paraphernalia.
How do I go about organizing the books? I suppose I could organize them by color and put all of the green covered books on the north wall. I could alphabetize them by name. I could construct signs that will point me to the proper section of the alphabet.
I suppose I could sort them by genre. Perhaps I could squeeze all of the fiction into one bookcase. I can group the French language books and the Czech language books together with the travel guides somewhere between the hollow chocolate Satan and the Eiffel Tower figurine. I can put the mime technique books with the face paint. I can stack issues of the theology journal directly above the Vishnu paper lantern.
Or I can group all of the works by the same author together. My Oscar Wilde books should be set in front of the mirror so they can continually gaze at their own reflection. Books by Mark Dunn should be arranged so that the first letter of each title spells out a morsel of semantic vocabulary. I could hide Mark Z. Danielewski’s books
under a pile of newspapers inside of a trunk.
I will make a bookcase shaped like a three-tiered birthday cake for Leonora Carrington’s books and a UFO for Kurt Vonnegut's.My Edgar Allen Poe collection will naturally sit beside the bust of Pallas above my chamber door. I will give Virginia Woolf a room of her own. Books by Samuel Beckett will be stuffed into a drawer full of bananas. And I could tuck the Amelia Gray books into a tangled nest of my own hair.