I’ve got this new thing going about organizing. What’s it mean?
They say organized homes are better for people with autism. I’ve been at it – sweeping dust bunnies, throwing out nine-year-old yellowed documents about cars I don’t own anymore and maybe can’t afford to own ever again – and I haven’t noticed a lot of change in Alex. He still comes home from special-ed. and dives onto the iPad, still sloshes the water all over the floor when he takes a bath, still sits up and rocks to make the bed timbers creak before he goes to sleep. I’m not sure he cares about having an organized home.
Alex and Ned have an organized room at least. Ned and I Sherman-marched through the mess a month or so ago. It took an hour, and by the end of that time the Legos and clothes and books and all the other crap had been confined to drawers and other places and were off the floor. Just last Thursday, I swept, mopped and waxed their floor, and that sure wouldn’t have been possible before Ned and I did our march.
I found this gift, I guess you’d call it, by helping Aunt Julie, who has to move soon. She has dozens of Container Store bins of paper, and some weeks ago she asked me to come over and help her empty them. I’ve started this, and I like: 1. throwing stuff out that belongs to other people; and 2. watching the empty bins pile up. I think I’ve helped her, and I like to think other people might need this service and fracking pay for it. Come May, I’ll be three years unemployed, and Jill faces the end of her “contract” (what has that word come to mean, anyway?) position soon. I’d better find some way to bring in cash.
The last three years have taught me that sometimes you need a handyman or other help, and that Craigslist is a place to find them. We’ve had several people in from there; they’ve done okay jobs. And when they were done – invariably – I’ve handed them a wad of twenties. I want someone to hand me a wad of twenties.
“It’s the Lone Arranger!” reads the headline of my first Craigslist ad. “Is It All the Shoes? All the Papers?” reads the headline of my second. “Ain’t No Mountain of Boxes High Enough” reads the headline of the third: This whole ad runs along the theme of the famous song.
When I was growing up, this seemed to be smart enough. As the days go by, I get the feeling it isn’t smart enough anymore.