Dad led the way to his bedroom, which was now the home of at least 15 or 20 filing cabinets. "BEHOLD!" he exclaimed, gesturing grandly.
Well, actually, I think he really said something like, "Check THIS out," but since Dad is the kind of person who might say "BEHOLD," in such a situation, that's how I remember it.
The organization was certainly worthy of a "BEHOLD," in my estimation. I don't know quite how to describe it. There were filing cabinets in all the closets. There was, I think, at least one VCR and a Laser Disk player on the floor to the side of the bed. But that was inconsequential really. After all, anyone can stuff a filing cabinet in a closet, right? No, the main feature of Dad's newly redecorated bedroom was the set of filing cabinets between the head of his king-size bed and the window seat.
I think there was a scene in one of the Indiana Jones movies where it shows the back room of a museum or somesuch where filing cabinets are lined up, wall-to-wall, with just enough space in between them to open the drawers all the way. Dad had created a mini version of this before my very eyes. Not only were there two rows of five or six filing cabinets facing each other, but there were two-drawer filing cabinets stacked on top of one row. There was enough room in between to walk between them, and to open the drawers all the way.
"I told the moving guy I could never have done this if I'd been married," Dad remarked proudly.
I laughed. "What did he say to that?" I asked curiously.
"He pretty much agreed, is all," said Dad gleefully.
And so he would. Hell, wouldn't anyone?
I wandered through the aisle gazing in awe at this … this spectacle, randomly opening drawers as I went to peek at the contents. Uncle had a lot of duplicates of some things, but there were still so many different movies it was unreal.
There was Breakfast at Tiffany's. There was White Christmas. There was Indiana Jones and The Bourne Identity and Tex (starring, apparently, Matt Dillon. No, I'd never heard of it either). I shook my head in wonder at it all.
"Hey, here's Dogma!" I exclaimed, taking it out of its drawer. I'd been looking for a copy for awhile.
"MINE! It's MINE!" shrieked Dad.
"It's okay, Dad, it's a duplicate," I assured him, taking out another copy and holding it up so he could see it.
"Well…" He considered that for a moment. "I GUESS you can have it. But I hope you appreciate that it leaves me with only ONE copy for myself."
"You're a prince of a guy, Dad," I told him.
"I know," he replied smugly. "Okay, come check out my den!"
The den would be the greatest triumph, or the greatest disaster. This, I knew. Before bringing in this collection, Dad had videotapes and books and comic books and all sorts of things stacked three deep and floor to ceiling on almost every conceivable square inch of wall space. And there was a lot of wall space in Dad's den.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the den was simply this: it didn't look any more crowded than it had before the collection was moved in. That is to say, it did at the moment, since there were stacks of boxes filled with stuff to go into all the new cabinets, but you could tell at a glance that once the contents of said boxes were stashed away, the den would still be navigable.
I stared in awe at the surroundings.
"And look here, I even have room for my chair in this room over here," Dad said, leading me back to the small, reading-room-type alcove in the back of his den. Although there were several filing cabinets stuck in this room as well, he was right: you could still fit the chair in here.
Dad took me on the Grand Tour, pointing out little details like how he'd arranged it in order to still be able to reach varous electical outlets and light switches. Amazingly enough, there was still space for maybe half again as much stuff as he'd brought in. Even more incredible, no journeys into n-Dimensional space were needed in order to view the entire collection. Which, on the whole, was a good thing, since I hadn't unpacked my sweaters yet. I understand it gets chilly in n-Dimensional space this time of year.
My mind still boggling a bit at Dad's masterpiece of vision, I congratulated him, and wandered outside to check on the dogs. At that moment, Mom drove up, since Dad had apparently offered to take her out to dinner to celebrate. As we walked toward the house, I expounded upon how Dad had managed to actually find a place for everything, and about the museum-like quality of the filing cabinets in the bedroom, and how amazing it all was. I giggled a little as I told her the story about what Dad had told the mover about never being able to do this if he was married.
Mom stopped for a moment, and gave me a look.
"No, he wouldn't!" she said grimly, and went in to see for herself.
All in all, it was a day to remember for a very, very long time.