Tuesday, December 8, 2009


#342, San Francisco, CA

In my alternate life, where all notebooks are Moleskine and all shoes Made in Italy, where entrance hallways are not lined with peach bathroom tile and front doorways are unencumbered by seven layers of sticky black paint, this is what the entrance to my home looks like: angular, architectural, clean, and well-designed. Up those steps, a bright studio awaits me with slanted windows, a wall of exposed brick, and all the fixtures stone or brushed steel. I sit at my ergonomic desk sipping espresso, contemplating my orange Bigso Box of Sweden files that are, of course, impeccably organized. I open my Mac and sentences of elegance flow from my well-manicured fingers.

What really happens when I get home is I shove my weight against a heavy black door (after wrestling the obligatory ten seconds with the lock that always sticks), trudge up the crooked steps with three visible layers of manky linoleum in various states of decay. I pass the inexplicable mish-mash of nightmare knick-knacks my neighbor on the second floor has installed on a wicker shelving unit in the hallway: ceramic bullfrogs holding stone tablets that say I Love You, Easter bunnies grossly out of season bearing white taper candles, and I wonder as I shove open my front door what I'd ever do if I tried to find a right angle in my apartment. Die of shock, probably.

Still and all, in a chaotic apartment in Brooklyn, things fall into place. The rough draft in its many pieces hardens into something sharp and complete, the windows let in fresh air, and unfettered by perfection, I work. I plan. I craft. And it's good. Damn, it's good.


Radge said...

Great post, the dredge is better for the creativity I reckon..

(Coming from a fellow dredger)

Adam said...

You'd get bored in that dream apartment, beautiful though your photo is. We need the untidy accumulation of our experiences and memories around us to keep us sane.

Jackie said...

Beautiful post!! Loved your last paragraph in particular. And like Radge & Adam say-- would it be home any other way?

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I say start leaving thrift store nic nacs on the wicker shelf for good luck. Triumph over the sticky door lock is a rite of passage in east coast cities! Think matador as you angle nothing more than your shoulder and a ton of determination.

word verification: femilik: Your neighbor's tchochkes are like femilik to you!

Therese Cox said...

Word. Bring me the dredgy, the untidy, and the creative. Y'all are helping me feel much better about my failure to ever achieve minimalism.

Therese Cox said...

Oh, and GDP - Your matador/front door comment led to me imagine a sort of red drapey installation over my doorway, a la Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates." Classy, no?

Wouldn't mind the knick-knacks so much if my bike wheels didn't hit them every time I lug my bicycle up and down the steps. Grr.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

Adam - You are right, there is comfort in clutter. If only I could get my wife to see that.

Julie said...

"unfettered by perfection" ... I like this. There is that manky word again.

Nothing worse that a designer abode, especially when the budget is Wal-mart.