May 22, 2009

Used goods

60s chessboard 01 - ilikegraphics

I've got more books than I need but less than I want, although sometimes I'll go through the ones I've read and have no intention of opening again and take them to a secondhand store. What happens later is I go back to the same store and half the things that catch my eye are books that used to belong to me.

I like secondhand stores, but sometimes it's depressing to see the crap that people have bought and owned and parted with and now it's trying to being sold. But when I die / hit bottom and sell out, my own possessions will be baffling - 'he made a life out of this?' - but life, as you know, isn't in such things.

There's no explaining the cotton coasters on this desk or the picture frames - they fail to transcend their nature as coasters and frames, and cut from active use they're horrible things, like false teeth. I'm pushing 40 and the house I live in is almost empty and totally undecorated, save for white paint and some of the landlord's paintings. I don't care. My desk is alive with things that have some meaning, which means: photos of me and my wife, pens, notes, scissors, tissues, water, beer, chewing gum, an army knife, speakers, some cacti, a stopwatch and tis machine.Welcome to my world.
The next warehouse, in Waukegan, brought a unit full of — depending on how you look at it — cherished household possessions or somebody’s trash. Most of the bidders took the latter view, disdaining an offer. Tonya Boyd bought the bulging plastic bags for all of $6. “It looks like someone had some troubles,” said Ms. Boyd, an employment specialist. There were piles of clothes, brand-new women’s shoes, old chairs, a dirty fan, kitchenware.

For some units, $6 is too much. “A dollar bill, first dollar bill takes it,” Mr. Snyder implored in front of one unit. “Come on, this is everything they own!” To no avail.

This is the eternal mystery of self-storage. If the material was worth money, it was foolish to let it go to default. If it was not worth much, why spend at least $50 a month to store it?

No comments: