For as long as I can remember, I have been a sorter. Ever since the days of my youth, I have found immense comfort in the active organization of various items in my possession. You name it, I sorted it: Hot Wheels (by make and model), Lego’s (by shape and color), baseball cards (initially by team as a kid and then numerically as an adult), and comic books (by title and issue number). I would spend hour upon hour on the floor of my bedroom productively and contentedly ordering and reordering my stuff. I was a man on a mission and I loved every second of it.
Until last night.
Before I get into it, though, allow me to provide you with a few important details germane to the situation. We moved to San Carlos last month. The new house is slowly starting to feel more like home with each passing day as essential household items migrate to their permanent spots and the seemingly endless stacks of moving boxes continue to be emptied of their contents. Just yesterday, we had a few new pieces of furniture delivered to our house from a place called Hoot Judkins. (I totally want that giant rocking chair in front of their store, btw). Of those items, one of them is a cd organizer/bookcase thingee and I could tell by the way it just stood there along the wall with an abundance of empty shelving longing to be filled that I knew right away that my plans for the evening of sitting on my ass doing nothing were about to be preempted by my personal national pastime of sorting and organizing my behemoth cd music collection.
Unfortunately, the excitement and glee of the prospect of spending my evening putting my cds on the shelves alphabetically was extremely short-lived. One of the “benefits” of ALS that I have experienced thus far is a diminished use of the fine motor skills in my fingers and hands. As it relates to the task before me, I have a difficult time handling the cd cases; my fingers don’t have the strength and muscle control and finesse to do the job as quickly and as efficiently as I have done it in the past. And to make matters worse, because I wasn’t the one who packed them into the five large boxes sitting on my office floor, I quickly discovered the alphabetical order they were in before the move was replaced by utter randomness. Grrrrrr.
As my Dad gallantly tried to help me remove the jewel cases from the boxes AND alphabetize them at the same time, it became quite clear rather quickly that this was going to take forever doing it the way we were doing it. Throwing more fuel on the rapidly escalating, nearly out of control fire in my mind was the other “benefit” of my ALS, you know, the speech part. I’ve noticed that when I get stressed out, my voice gets even harder to understand, and since Fehmeen is the only person on the planet (so far, Emma) with a Ph D in ALS Boy Mumblese, and she was (wisely) occupied in the other room, my poor Dad had to deal with me trying desperately to communicate my ever-changing plan for getting these damn cds organized.
In the end, I asked him to kindly remove the cds cases from the cardboard boxes and place them on my desk. From there, I would take all the artists that began with the letter A and make a stack of them. I would do the exact same thing for the other twenty-four letters of the alphabet (I made the executive decision to combine letters P and Q). Even though the going was slow, I quickly (relative term) found my groove.
Sixty minutes later, I had twenty-five cd towers spread out across my desktop and just as I was about to actually alphabetize the A’s, Fehmeen came in and asked if I would like some desert. Of course I said yes and I abandoned my efforts for the night in favor of a slice of apple crisp and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a chance to catch the latest episode of The Hills on DVR. I will tackle the final sorting and shelf-placing this afternoon. I’m actually looking forward to it now.
Fun Fact #1: Of the twenty-five cd towers on my desk, the stacks that are the highest are the letters B, G, and S.
Fun Fact #2: In my collection, Tom Waits has his own stack.