I’m in the toss mode of the toss and acquire cycle. Newly refinished floors upstairs meant we had to drag everything downstairs and now the hardwood is so shiny and perfect it’s hard to put anything back down on it. We have an enormous plant and a bed and I can’t really imagine what else is needed. We have a chair. Books. The walls are unadorned. For entertainment squares of sunlight from the windows move along the burnished wood in a hypnotic, stately, seasonal cycle. It’s calm. It’s empty. There’s a bound set of D.T. Suzuki’s lectures. It’s literally Zen.
Unfortunately, downstairs is a screaming chaotic heap. Furniture is sitting on the furniture, like a bad dog. Curtains are un-rodded, blankets are piled, art is stacked and there are records and sweaters and files and vases and figures and rugs and stands and tapes and…oh my god. If you sit on the couch (if you can even find the couch) the room seems to be in one of those stop-action scenes from a sci-fi movie. I can see the dust motes leaping over the vintage coffee cups like Captain America. Upstairs the walls whisper: well, well, well. Downstairs the lamp in the shape of a martini olive shouts: why did you buy me? Why??
The thing is, I live in both states. I think we all do. Our organized, courteous, neat selves are usually what we present to the public. But there is no denying the messy, perennially late, lost keys and spilled latte kind of self that is just as much a part of the equation. Myself, I have to keep these states in constant rotation. Too much calm and I freak. My sister-in-law says that when they would go to the beach to chill on lawn chairs, they’d just hand my brother a shovel and tell him to dig like a terrier. That’s me. Put me on a beach chair to chill and I’m a nervous wreck.
On the other hand, I need stuff so clearly marked—ideas, inspirations, projects, stories—that I can get right out of bed and lay my hands on exactly where I left them the day before. In my writing studio the books are stacked so straight you could use them as a ruler. I wipe everything down before I leave on Friday. I toss and file and center the chairs at the table.
That’s because I’ve just spent five hours courting the gods of chaos.
Our clients hire us for both sides. On our own we entertain all kinds of wild ideas, trying to come up with fresh solutions. In meetings we’re orderly and methodical. That’s what helps make 2B exceptional. We sell a pristine set of writing solutions. And you get a lamp in the shape of a martini olive, absolutely free.