a world of rectangles
inspired by my journey naming my bisexuality
imagine you wake up tomorrow to a new universal law: "your home must only be decorated with rectangular objects" (not counting furniture, appliances, etc.). you can still keep your decorative globe or astrolabe, you can keep that rose gold 3D hexagonal plant holder and your glass pyramid that reminds you of the Louvre - as long as they are all somewhere your guests won't accidentally stumble upon them. only rectangular decorative objects are allowed in public areas of your house.
so, you dutifully hide away all decorations that aren't rectangular.
months go by. you've followed the law well. it seems only rectangular decorations really are everywhere you go - houses, libraries, malls, even on TV shows. until one day, you visit someone and see a small 3D trapezoidal decoration on their bookshelf. neither of you mention it, but it sticks in your mind as you go home. you wonder if that decoration was okay for them to have alongside their rectangular ones.
you go home and retrieve a box of your old decorations; you reminisce some. but when the phone rings, you put the box away, feeling ashamed. after your phone call, you sit in your living room surrounded by rectangles and realize that you'll just have to get used to having a home with only one shape of decoration. it doesn't feel like it fully represents who you are, but that's what is allowed.
a year later, you visit a library. while there, you notice a few new decorations - triangles, circles, pentagons. no other library you've been to in so long had anything but rectangular decorations. at first, you're nervous to stay there. but as the months go by, you find yourself stopping in more often. you tell yourself it's because you've been reading more, you tell yourself it's because it was near your favourite café, you tell yourself it was because the one closest to you was closed for renovations.
another year goes by and you still visit the library fairly often. you've even noticed a few other people quietly displaying non-rectangular decorations in their homes.
one day, you're cleaning in the room where your box of old decorations is. you retrieve the box. your eye catches your favourite decoration, and you take it out of the box. you recall memories of who gave it to you, and it makes you smile. you hesitate slightly as you leave the room, but you set the decoration on the bookshelf in your living room all the same.
a day goes by and all you seem to notice is that new-old decoration. you're not sure if it is okay, but you really like being able to see it everyday. a week goes by, then another. then you have a friend over. their gaze settles for a moment on the non-rectangular decoration, and you worry what they'll do or say, but they just continue on with what the two of you were chatting about.
a month goes by and nobody has said anything negative about your non-rectangular decoration.
and the law remains unchanged.
as time goes on, you begin to add a new-old decoration here and there - a trapezoid, an oval - and you feel better each time you do it. you no longer feel ashamed that your house decorations are a variety of shapes. you love all the memories they bring you, the joy. you realize you no longer have to settle for something that didn't make your home feel like yours. you now feel like your living space really belongs to you.
sometimes when people come to your house, they glance at your shelves and notice your mix of decorations. you can tell some guests aren't sure it's allowed, but nobody says anything negative. you notice a few of them start adding variety to their own home decorations, here and there, gradually.
little by little, the shelves at your home evolved to reflect what you love. your favourite triangular, circular, even rectangular decorations, and other shapes too. to you, it's not about what shapes surround you - you want to be surrounded by decorations that express something about who you are.
little by little, you lost the sense of shame you once had about what you love.
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