A Collector's Room
These images are 3-D, taken with a Three Dimension Camera that had two lenses. Like many a middle aged man (or was I a thirty year old boy), I was looking for meaning, a hobby, something to do with my time and my life. For a week or two, I was taking 3-D Photographs, but developing the film cost enough that I only took the single roll or two. As follows are the only three images I kept.
Above is the bed where I slept. Very few of the physical items are from when I was a child (well, maybe the sheets). But that desk with the stickers and all the crap on top of it (and it was all crap) was basically new to me in my twenties and thirties. In many ways, I was flush with money... or flusher than I had ever been before. And I took to going to the flea market and dropping $20-50 every weekend. In fact, during my final summer of flea marketing, I tended to carry $800 or so. At that level, I'd have enough to buy someone else's life collection for upwards of $500 and still have cash to spare. I never spent $500 on someone's life collection, but I did walk away with box after box of comics, cards, and other collectables (say for instance, some guy's slot car collection) for under a hundred. Hence, all the junk in the picture.
This was, also, the room in which I owned my first computer, setting it up on the floor in front of the bed, playing Civilization. Truth is I never did much more with that computer than play Civilization.
OK! Fine! One day, I also scored a Turbo C++ compiler for like $6 at the flea market, but I didn't know what to do with it and gave up after spending an afternoon trying to link a file (whatever that meant) and failing.
I doubt I own anything shown in any of these pictures, anymore... not a single thing.
Like I said, I was looking for something.
In the previous photo, some of my tie-dyes are shown... along with a stack of war games, which, like as not, contained additional items: dice, pieces from other games, and what not. I was a big consolidator and liked to fill my boxes all the way.
This image shows a line of ammo boxes. Ammo boxes figure prominently in the story of this room, in my collecting, and in its end. One of those ammo boxes contained small (3.75") GI Joes. I'd buy them for 25¢ maybe $1. But at a quarter, I'd buy every last one I could get my hands on. I probably would have been better off buying one or two of the expensive ones, the black widow chick (whatever her name was), coming rapidly to mind. But I did not. It was a lot about the quantity, mainly because I could get quantity cheap, entire collections (from others, who were exiting the hobby, the exact hobby hardly ever mattered) for pennies on the dollar. Eventually, I gave most of my stuff away to Goodwill and the Salvation Army, because it turns out I didn't care about any of it.
Anyhow, I'd come back from the flea market. And I was putting my new finds away, which often included cleaning them... or playing with them. And on this occasion, the occasion that comes to mind, I'd bought a GI Joe or two... or three... or five. I can't remember exactly how many new ones I'd bought. What I can remember is dumping out the ammo box, looking at the Joe's, realizing I didn't want to play with them, so I stacked them all nice and neatly back into the box. And as I did, I wondered why I was bothering to buy the stupid things if I didn't want to play... or at least, look at them.
As best as I can figure, I was doing it for whoever would inherit my stuff. Not a child of mine, no son or daughter, and no one specific... well, I might have had ideas, but that wasn't what stayed with me. It was the thought that if I wasn't doing this for myself, why was I bothering to do it, at all.
And maybe, just as suddenly as it started, my collecting diminished... greatly, until today, it's (mostly) gone.
Don't get me wrong, ten years later and I still had upwards of a hundred shirts in my closet with all the pants, shoes, and accessories any straight man could possibly wish to have. But trust me, the collecting fervor had diminished by leaps and bounds.
And then, I started writing; and shortly thereafter, discovered a love for computer science (or what passes for that discipline in my world). And all of sudden, I had no great need to ever paint a Fantasy Miniature (or a D&D figure, as I like to call them) ever again.
Though, if I do ever hit it rich, I am most definitely going to buy myself a billiard table and stock a bookcase or two full of old DAϖ Paperbacks, along with a slew of old school D&D type modules and accessories (rebuilding the collection of my youth if nothing else).
The rats are borrowed.
Some of these items I miss... well, I think about now and again (like the View Master reels, which aren't even shown). But mostly I could care less.
If I were ever to start collecting again, I'm sure View Master Reels would be on the short list; but then, what do I know what any future self would actually want to possess. Besides, collecting takes time.
And I doubt I would ever get started.
I mean, let's fact it, I find it difficult just to name something that I want to own that isn't completely utilitarian... outside of this website and the words that it contains. I always seem to want more of that.
Until I don't.
After all, rather than editing this rant, I think I shall go take a walk and daydream, going wherever my body and mind will take me, saving anything resembling 'work' for another far off and distant day.
© copyright 2017 Brett Paufler