LC Van Savage
ME AND THE MESSRS COLLIER
Iíve met a very interesting woman named Barbara Jordan. No, not the late Barbara Jordan, the first black woman elected to the Texas senate. This Barbara Jordan lives here and, amongst other accomplished things, like being an inspiring motivational speaker, is an organizer. Yes, someone who organizes. Not her desk or her sock drawer. No. Barbara will organize you! She is a professional organizer and her company in Topsham is called "Down-To-It."
Iím tempted. Ever hear of the Collier Brothers? They were two old men who saved so much stuff that after they died, it was discovered their home was crammed literally to the ceilings with tons and tons of useless junk. The brothers were mentally unable to throw away a single piece of paper and that included all newspapers, magazines, junk mail, letters, any and everything paper. Their home was stacked with tightly packed piles of other things too, and there were paths through it all so they could navigate into other rooms. There were tunnels, too. I think one of the bros Collier eventually vanished into the morass and was finally found later, and you donít want to know how.
After the boys died, I donít know if their home was blasted, burned to the ground or kept as a museum as a perfect example of excessive pack-rattage. Barbara Jordan would have had employment for life had she gotten hired by the brothers C.
My dear husband "Mongo" thinks my private home office is haunted by the Colliers. In fact he swears he hears them laughing contentedly in there. I keep a very clean, orderly home (OK, I do have some basement issues) but my office is off limits and I freely admit it is Beirut in there. But who gives a ratís if I havenít seen my desk blotter since í79? Sure, I have paths to things; my computer for example. But who cares? Itís my nest. Do I need all that stuff? No. Do I need boxes of labeled rocks Iíve brought home from every place weíve ever been? No. Do I actually need and read all those papers and books? No. Oh, thereís no point going on about the "do I actually need" things because the answer to most of it is no, I donít. But itís all mine and I like it and feel good in there. Secure. My stuff is all around me. Iím buried in it. I love it!
In fact, dear Mongo knows heíll incur my wrath the likes of which heís never dreamed of, if he ever again stands in the doorway of my office, rolling his eyes at everything and muttering, "How can you live likeÖ" or "How in hell do you ever findÖ" or "Donít you think itís maybe unhealthy to..."
I asked Barbara Jordan about my office and if I should avail myself of her services. She asked if I could find things beneath the rubble. I said "always." She asked if I cared what others think. I said "never." (Besides, I have a closable door when people sneak looks.) Barbara said, "Then leave it alone. If it ainít broke, LCÖ!" (Paying attention, Mongo?)
That was pretty nice. I mean, Barbara is in that business to get clients, but she understands my mess is my delight, my joy, my cradle and my cherished quagmire. And if Iím not hurting anyone and Iíve had all my shots, then whereís the harm?
But you may want to call Barbara. Itís really easier to hack the guts out of rooms or closets so packed with junk theyíre becoming dangerously close to spontaneously detonating, when someone youíre not emotionally involved with does the hacking. Like Barbara Jordan. Her number is 207-729-5399. She is gentle, kind, nonjudgmental and excellent at streamlining everything. Hey, each to his own. Just keep the shovels, matches, rakes and dynamite out of my own personal home office, OK? Iím simply not ready.