Meeting The Collector
We had actually met weeks before. It was at a weekly Boggle night a few friends and I had started. But it wasn’t until that day we happened to be in the same place at the same time that we exchanged more than a few words and a hug.
The first collection I was introduced to was his garage filled with bikes. Kids’ bikes from yard sales. Rusty mountain bikes found on the side of the road. Bicycles circa World War II (you have to refer to them as “bicycles” when they’re that old, it’s a “respect” thing). And, holy crap, 10 speeds galore. I was either drooling or had a small orgasm, I’m not sure which, but some sort of primal juices were flowing.
Well, I must have wiped the spittle from my lips before he noticed, or he just recognized my love for all things dual wheeled and people powered. Or, hell, maybe I was bold enough to invite myself over. However it happened, I ended up at his place, browsing the second collection.
I couldn’t tell you how many he has in his collection… partly because it’s such a gloriously huge number, but mostly because I’m just bad at guessing things like that. Like in 3rd grade when you have to guess how many jelly beans are in a Ball jar and if you get it right you get something stupid, like an eraser? But when you’re that age, a Lisa Frank eraser with unicorns on it seems way cooler than your boring pink rubber eraser? Yeah, well, I never won the unicorns. What I can tell you is that it’s most definitely hundreds of records that are stacked neatly next to each other, cover to cover, in alphabetical order, lining his walls and filling crates on his floor.
Of course it wasn’t just bikes and records that led me to change my winter plans. It was something deeper, a realization about who I am and what’s important to me.