Feb 18th – The order of things unseen

February 18th – The order of things unseen


Everything has a place.

He likes everything to have a place: that is how it works. Things are ordered in his house, arranged, kept where they should be kept. The books are alphabetical. The cupboards have a system. There is no space for chaos. Not here.

It is the things that you don’t see, though, that are kept more closely arranged: folded, stacked, tessellated. The things unseen are the things that need the most control. He needs to know where they are. Always.

There is a space for his love, there. The space is usually full. At first. He thought he was going to need an infinite space for this. This was not going to be a problem: he just needed to know where he was going to keep it. But in time he realised that his love was not infinite, that it was just an extension of himself, so that is where he put it.

His hate grew. He tried putting hate next to love, but that disturbed the order: the edges blurred and it became less tidy, so he moved it away, to the other side. Hate needed a smaller space than love. This was a good thing, he decided: It was better to love than to hate, but even though the space was smaller it grew with time, and so he cleared some more space to accommodate it. He could move things in and out of both love and hate, though, and this way he could contain the spaces, and keep things as they should be kept.

Wants and needs, desire, hopes and dreams: these all had their places, too. Sometimes he would rearrange them, place them in different spaces as he would accommodate a new paperback or a pair of shoes. He placed desires fulfilled next to desires unfulfilled, and that way the order was maintained: what he longed for did not litter the floor but was kept in place, casting envious looks at longings achieved.

The things unseen stayed unseen: this was how they were, and how things would always be. People who came to his house, who stayed for minutes or hours or years, passed his fears unaware of the black shape in the corner of the room where he kept his plans: these too remained unacknowledged by anyone other than himself. He was content with this arrangement: this was how things should be.

He liked living like this.

Sometimes it took work. Chaos would invade. That was why he kept the unexpected in the basement. It was there, but it could not be controlled, could not be trusted to stay where it was. But by shutting chaos in the basement it could not upset the order of things unseen too much: it could be managed. He tidied when he needed to. He kept things where they should be.


Inspired by a prompt from here

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