I’m so happy for Rudii—she has finally fallen in love at first sight! Or as we like to say, “instant concoction”!1
You might say it’s just coincidence. But actually, being a Creativist gives you a higher chance of falling in love! Let’s start with some history.
One evening Albern called together a communal chaosing2 at the Scoop to discuss a passage of utmost importance he’d found in an yearbook so old its pages were yellowed and brittle.
Yesterday night I felt despondent in the Workshop as I gazed at the last few cotton balls, colored pencil stubs, and holey socks in our possession. If only I were a fairy, so I would weave something from the rich, magical, but immaterial moonlight shining through the window!
“I might have to fashion something out of cobwebs,” I said to Spyzer, to which he replied solemnly, “Taking someone’s home like that would be rather Destructivist.”
It was only a joke. But I couldn’t help but wonder, Why am I a Creativist? I knew the answer: I revel in that secret joy of making things—the feeling of taking paths never before traveled. When I finish a new sculpture, I rush to show my friends, but they misinterpret it (“is it… an abstract idea?”); they cannot truly understand, for they have not walked through the path that has only be traveled by me. Surely we are not Creativists because we want to walk alone. Is the path of Creativism fundamentally a path of solitude?
This morning I have found an answer. I had a revelation that came to me through a dream. In this dream I was standing on behind a long table of Uniformists.
“I love you with all my heart,” said a boy to a girl. They looked almost identical except for the angle of their cheekbones and the length of their hair. They were both clad in U-shirts.
“Do not love just one, we are all the same,” she said, hopelessly, “If you love one, then you must love all.”
I’ve never been at a Uniformist lunch table, but my dream told me this was the standard Uniformist answer. I also knew that she didn’t believe it. She struggled to find the next words, because the standard answer ended there.
She continued, unexpectedly, but in a whisper. “That might be nice, thought, to love someone with all my heart. But you, and… you and you, how can I decide, when you seem so similar?”
“Dedication. We are all the same, but some of us are more dedicated than the others. Name the contest, madam.” This was also a standard Uniformist response.
I imagined the boys, stringing identical bows aiming at identical targets, or hunched over identical crossword puzzles or logic conundrums, or running along an identical path up the hill. Their eyes, however, were all clouded. They had no love. They were nothing but machines of Uniformist dedication.
“What’s the revelation?”
“It ends there,” Albern said.
“When is it from? Who wrote it?”
“I don’t know. The cover says ‘Year of the Doughy Pineapples’.”3
“For all we know, it’s a joke, written by someone yesterday and dipped in paper-yellowing chemicals! Probably she was too lazy to come up with a proper revelation, and she’ll be laughing her ass off shortly,” Lisa looked around, but no one was laughing, “Remember the entries that were written by a ‘superintelligent monkey’?4”
“Perhaps the writer was strangled by a Uniformist before ey could finish.”
Rudii raised her hand for attention. “It doesn’t whether the entry was created from real or fictional experience. What matters is the content. Does Creativism helps concoction?”
“It’s obvious that we would do much better in love than Uniformists,” Lukko said.
“I consulted Dave,” Albern replied. “Based on surveys, there is no statistically significant difference in romantic success for Creativists or Uniformists. There is, however, a significant difference between us and the Romanticists, who do better.”
“It’s all in their heads!” Lukko objected.
Romanticists tended to like dreaming more than actual creating.
“Probably the Creativists just gave creative answers that Dave couldn’t interpret.”
“Who cares about statistics? Love isn’t measurable. Numbers suppress creativity.”
“Not true!” sayed Numms, a idiot savant who can multiply 3 digit numbers in his head, likes making sculptures out of math symbols, and baking pis with exotic fruit filling.5 “Every number has a personality. The number 868, for example, is the the pain of a person curled up in the back of an ambulance as it blares at full speed. 179 is a upwelling of mysticism, for it is a serious of columns, each more ornate than the last.”
Rudii raised her hand for attention. “Return to the topic at hand. Do we agree that we can only concoct with people who show their uniqueness? Uniformists do not show their uniqueness, but Creativists do.”
We signalled our agreement through finger-snaps, cheers in various languages, and dances of joy.
“But how much uniqueness to show?” Lukko asked.
A debate followed between the Minimal and Maximalist Creativists. The Maximalists won because the Minimal Creativists stopped talking midway through, and instead responded by saying off-topic phrases such as “blueberry burls” and “capricious cranberries” until we ignored them. Lisa kept hurling questions like “Why the hell do you want these Philsophocler freaks to fall in love with you anyways?”, so we also ignored her. (By “we” I meant the two other people I ended up talking to; we had splintered into many groups at this point.)
We discussed what we could be doing during our visits to The Street to facilitate instant concoction. We came up with so many things we could do! Many people, when they visit The Street, do boring things like talking about the weather, attempting to summarize themselves to strangers, chewing, or drinking their tea. We could instead fold origami, play cat’s cradle, bob our heads in tune with an imaginary waltz, ask the waiter if we could assist in anything (to playfully reverse the usual order of things), asking the waiter loudly and audaciously what the most creative thing on the menu is so that all can hear, swirl a finger across a glass rim to signal of a playfulness and desire for music, shift our eyes between the different paintings on the wall to signal creative restlessness, take out sand from our pockets to show our appreciation for a sunny vacation, or take out a snowglobe with one snowman from our pocket and stare at it to ambiguously symbolize loneliness and self-sufficiency. Unlike our normal Creating, we chose carefully orchestrated actions that we felt would represent our personality in the best possible light.
We also concluded that Melli’s Flows was best, and Deepsea Teas was worst. (No one can even see you in the booths! The waiters would forget you were there if they didn’t record the table was occupied on their clipboard.)
A long time has passed, though, since that meeting, without any success. Until…
Yesterday, at Melli’s Flows, when Rudii found an ant on the napkin holder, instead of doing “standard” things like crushing the ant or reporting it to management, Rudii noticed how it kept skirting the sides, looking for a way off, and then took her straw out of her drink and made a water slide for the ant.
“Wow!” said a boy in glasses, with a bag of books on his left shoulder. “Are you the kind of person that enjoys helping others and make their lives more flavorful at the same time?”
“Are you a book-lover and someone who doesn’t mind jumping to conclusions about other people in public?”
“Since you helped the ant, I wonder what your thoughts are on ‘feeding the squirrels’?” (Rudii was also wearing a shirt with a picture of a squirrel with an acorn.)
“The best gift we can give the squirrels is not food, but art. In fact, I’ve just been chaosing on how to make an artistic playground for the squirrels…”
Soon they were conversing madly. Timoo had a habit of drawing a box in the air whenever he voiced a thought, and Rudii would take the invisible box, open it, and show her reactions through exaggerated facial expressions. Timoo was incredibly well-read but not well-created6, and Rudii helped him “think outside the box” by taking a book from his bag, opening to a random page and reading a sentence, and asking him to continue the story. They shared their impressions of everyone within their line of sight, and found that Timoo’s impressions were more colorful, and Rudii’s more accurate.
I learned of this only later. Chyme ran into the Scoop, shouting, “Happened, finally! Ants, squirrels, boxes, acting, books and random quotes! Rudii!”
The table of Creativists looked at her expectantly. They didn’t butt in because the acrobatics of Chyme’s associative memory were beautiful if allowed to run their course.
“Hands whirring like gears. Their words bubble incessantly like a brook. Others bounce around like ping-pong balls but they’re in stable orbit. Beware of biting fish.”
“Melli’s Flows!” Someone burst out.
“Instant concoction!” Someone else completed the picture.
The whole table of Creativists expressed their happiness (by snapping fingers, cheering in various languages, dancing in joy, pulling a paper bag with a smiley face over eir head, clinking mugs, or delivering an impromptu sonnet), and then followed Chyme to Melli’s Flows.
“Don’t worry, Trevisia, we’ll come back to wash our mugs!”
I wanted to follow, but it was my shift at the Scoop! I imagined them huddling at the windows of Melli’s Flows, watching; the bouncer coming out to tell them, “Are you in or out?”; Creativists influxing into the cafe, spicing up the conversation as they flit between tables, all the time secretly shooting glances at Rudii and her fellow concocter and slipping them creations like surreally painted hearts, or two stuffed squirrels hugging each other (the Creativists provided the greatest entertainment, as Timoo and Rudii were currently in their game of trying to judge everyone in sight, and everything she said was heard from some Creativist).
I did not completely miss out, though. Later Rudii and Timoo came to the Scoop, where I had the honor of feeding them many fresh cookies I had concocted from a perfect blend of flour, vanilla, cinnamon, oatmeal, butter, raisins, and love. Rudii, who normally ate one slowly and delicately, instead ate five in quick succession.
“Was it from the Creativism?” I asked Rudii when the rest of the Creativists had left.
“I don’t know. I think I just got lucky.”
Certainly Creativism helped. If Rudii hadn’t been a Creativist, she might have crushed the ant or reported it to management, and nothing would have happened.
I thought, if Rudii had so much success as a Minimalist, what could us Maximalists accomplish? Rudii did one one or two interesting things each time she visits Melli’s—what if we did ten, or a hundred? The more you create, the more chances you have to be lucky. If you keep doing interesting things, certainly one of those things will catch the eye of your future fellow concocter!
We sent a message to Dave that the Creativists now have one more success in love. Dave, however, said that the results still weren’t statistically significant.
Fellow Creativists: keep showing your creative selves. Each creation is another chance for instant concoction!
Words like “partner” or “lover” are mundane, suggesting cliched pictures of domestic life or desperate affairs. As Rudii would say, they suggest a role to be filled. “Fellow concocter” instead suggests someone who will Create things with you.↩
i.e., meeting. “Chaosing” means “brainstorming”. Many people approach brainstorming in an orderly fashion, such as sitting down in front of an empty notebook with a pen. “Chaosing” better captures our process.↩
This is typical of Creativist yearbooks, so we really need a Historian! Please please please apply. I know you all would rather be creating things rather than reading and organizing old things, but it would really be a service to Creativism…↩
I forged those. I wished I hadn’t burst out laughing when Lisa read them.↩
Like many other Creativists, I hated math before I met Numms. However, after seeing his colorful, anthropomorphized, surreal sculptures of digits hanging around the Workshop, I’ve liked them a lot more. It seems tragic, though, that modern math replaces all numbers with a Uniform \(x\).↩
the last time he drew a picture was in tenth grade, and despite all the books he’d read, he’d never written a single one himself.↩