Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I ain't obsessive. I only aspire to an organized existence. I contain copious chaos in my cranium. Can't I keep my collections under control?

For example, the foreign coins -- francs and farthings and pfennigs -- found far and wide. I coulda converted that currency for a crappy cash quantity. Or save 'em as souvenirs. But baggies bursting with brass is bad. Gathering, grouping, grading: good.

Ditto for my baseball cards. (Oh, enjoy an occasional interruption to annoying alliteration.) I just couldn't part with my collection to some random eBay buyer. But if I was gonna hold on to 'em, they had to get out of the shoebox and into a pristine plastic presentation.
Now I won't dog-ear the cardboard as the assortment increases in monetary value: Rose, Reggie and Ryan; Carlton (Fisk) and (Steve) Carlton; Palmer and "Pops". And in sentimental value: Dick Tidrow, the Yanks pitcher whose name cracked me up as a prepubescent punk; Kent Tekulve, a sidearm-throwing stick figure in the goofy Pirates uniform; Oscar Gamble, with that awesome afro exploding from his hat.

So you can imagine my consternation at the randomness with which my girlfriend filled up the massive bookshelf in our new apartment. Fiction mixed with the non-fiction? Classics confused with contemporaries? Paperbacks and hardcovers intermingling?

I mean, how would you know where to find my slang thesaurus, when it was next to her knitting guides, wedged within my crime pulp and her chick lit? Bradbury and blues books between Bronte and Barack Obama's autobiography? Blasphemy. The Catcher in the Rye Just Isn't That Into Jude the Obscure's Hundred Years of Solitude so Don't Let the Hound of the Baskervilles Drive the Bus to the Bridge of San Luis Rey!

An overhaul was obligatory. I argued organization; Adelphia advocated asthetics. I agreed. Okay. An immense undertaking, and after hours and hours of aggravated activity... assignment accomplished.


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