Carlin was right about a lot of things, but he was especially right about our love of stuff.
I used to be a huge pack rat in my teens and twenties. If it had a date on it or if it was in its original packaging, I wanted to keep it. That changed a bit when I moved back to NC from Louisville and realized that, even after my ex- had gone through everything, there was still way too much shit for me to truck across state lines. There was still a good amount that I did end up keeping, but this weekend I’m finally getting around to doing another overdue round of closet cleaning.
I have a box full of paperbacks, most of which I’ve owned for nearly twenty years now. I’d like to jump into a hot tub time machine and bitch slap my past self for wasting so much time and money on Star Wars novels. There’s also a copy of Malcolm X’s autobiography and Rush Limbaugh’s first book, both of which I read in college within about four weeks of each other (still not sure what that says about me). To my surprise, they’ve spent all this time together, side-by-side, without annihilating one another, which I think is a violation of at least three laws of physics.
There’s also most of Stephen King’s early stuff: my old copy of Misery (my introduction to his highness) that nostalgia still keeps me from junking, plus what I think is a first paperback edition of Carrie that I picked up in a Chapel Hill bookstore that no longer exist. I also have a bunch of old King stuff in hardback, including more first editions than I realized I had (though I guess that shouldn’t be a real surprise; they’re printed a billion at a time, after all). What’s really sad is, according to Amazon, nearly all of these books I’ve felt compelled to hang onto since the Clinton administration are only worth a penny apiece. Even the King hardbacks that could be passed off as “collectibles” are worth less than the cost of shipping. So I’ll probably hang to the first edition stuff, plus a few others, and set the rest out by the recycle bins of my apartment complex. They should disappear by the end of the day. Odds are, I’ll never read any of them again. Might as well pass them along to someone that might.
There’s also a couple of boxes of magazines. A bunch of them are UNC related, but there are some in here that defy explanation. I have a 1993 issue of Sports Illustrated with Junior Seau on the cover. Why, in God’s name, did I hang on to this? I’ve never been a fan of Seau or the Chargers. There's a 2000 issue of Rolling Stone with Tom Green on the cover that I apparently thought needed to be passed down to my son. Jesus wept...
Of course, there are some I've hung onto for obvious reasons.
And some that I want to hang onto for different reasons than I had ten years ago
And I haven’t even gone through my music collection, yet. Part of me doesn’t want to remember that I used to listen to Dokken and Warrant. A lot. And that’s just my CD collection. There’s an older box of cassette tapes with albums I’d rather you not know about.