I don’t collect things anymore. I don’t know when I stopped, but in my youth, I would start more collections than a wino starts bottles.
Baseball cards, beer cans, football pennants, foreign currency, coins, postcards, seashells, marbles, even rocks (those polished stones featured in souvenir shops).
Even as an adult, I started collections: sporting event tickets, hockey cards, paraphernalia from every professional sports venue in Michigan that I personally visited, souvenir beer mugs, bookmarks, drink coasters that feature famous beers, the left pinky toe from every prostitute I banged (I spent a ton on formaldehyde).
But at some point, it stopped.
I think it stopped when my final collection—children—started to grow, but I don’t know when exactly, and it was never a conscious decision. I just stopped.
Or maybe I morphed . . . transitioned from collecting to hoarding. I started buying lots of things but not different kinds of the same thing. I accumulated volumes, but not variety within the volumes. I bought things I could use, not things to look at it.
Beer cans out; a jar of dimes in. Postcards out; books in. Rocks gone; gardening implements in.
I suppose the two actions, collecting and hoarding, aren’t terribly different. Both cost a lot of money. Both provide a scant monetary return. Both will get tossed into the dumpster when I die. Both impart a degree of … Read the rest