Monday, September 28, 2015

On leaving nothing

Not easy on the eyes is it?

A collection of vintage glass eyeballs. They're not functional. The wearer would simply pop them in and out of the eye socket to cover the gaping hole in his or her skull.

That's about as much as I want to know, or see, about glass eyeballs. And yet I have a friend who has a vast collection of these glorified painted marbles.

I have another friend who collects clown paintings. (I know I have some dark friends.)

And know of another who collects Tiki mugs.

I collect Nothing.

Though in my garage you would find 15-16 years worth of accordion file folders stuffed jelly-tight with old utility bills, spent checks and sad, put-me-in-a-dirty-nursing-home portfolio statements.

I bring all this up because I read an article the other day about a family fighting over the heirlooms left by their deceased parents. It might have been a collection of antique spoons or a menagerie of stuffed animals. In any case, it seemed pretty pitiful that these siblings were brought to tears, and I believe to court, over the possession of some stupid trinkets.

My parents, also deceased, left me with nothing of the sort. With the exception of a few old photos, the only meaningful item I could lay my hands on is a T-Shirt from one of the Outward Bound Survival Schools my father had attended.

It's kind of ratty. 
And moth-eaten. 
And stretched out. 
But my wife still won't let me wear it.

This shirt was from Leadville, Colorado, where as a 53-year old man, my father climbed Pike's Peak, with a bunch of twenty and thirty year olds. He almost had a heart attack at the summit. 

I can't stand it when these old dudes just don't understand their place in this world.

He also did an Outward Bound in Maine, where for 10 days he lived and worked on a sailboat off the rough coastal waters near Newfoundland. And because Al Siegel could never test himself enough, he also enlisted for an advanced Outward Bound School on the Deschutes River in Oregon.

Recently, I was clearing out my garage and found a touching letter to my father from a fellow student at the Deschutes River school. It was handwritten by a woman. And got me thinking that perhaps my father was doing some illicit Inward Bound activities. 

But I looked the woman up on Facebook and she turned out to be a soup-making, incense-burning, leaf-eating, happily-married lesbian.

Back to my original point….

Oh yeah, I've never been a collector. And at 44 years old it might too late to start collecting now. When my time comes, my kids and my grandkids can duke it out over the mass of financial forensics they' ll find in the garage.

"I want the cancelled checks of 1999."

"You can have them as long as I get the electricity and Internet bills from 2005-2007."

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