I am addicted to thrifting, aka, thrift shopping. I think I've always had a fascination with antiquity. Some of my earliest memories include playing with my Nana's old makeup containers and perfume bottles, and staring at the horrifying yet intriguing crucifixion imagery on her walls; this likely fed my hunger for all things creepy and gruesome as well. My mom and I used to frequent the Trading Post which, to this day, offers an eclectic mix of antique fine furniture and accessories, and quirky memorabilia from various decades. My partner, James, and I frequent many antique and second-hand shops, in hopes of scoring unique (and preferably cheap) treasures. We collect and read a lot of books, and are especially fond of rare antiques with that musty, library smell. I adore libraries. It may seem gross to some but I enjoy thinking about how many hands have touched a book. All of those people, their unwritten stories. I recently came across a candle on Etsy that claims to have an old book scent. I'm tempted to buy it.
Sometimes I'll buy a used book, or some other old trinket, because of an inscription. One time I found this book of love poems, dated 1930, which contained a beautiful, hand-written note to a wife from her husband on their 50th anniversary; I fear that that book may have found its way into a box of heirlooms that ended up in an unknown location and continues to haunt me to this day. Recently I picked up a VHS tape called "Wayne Gretzky: Above and Beyond." On the tape is a note: "Happy Valentine's Day, Shelley, Love Dad. My Palmer--Ali--Warren Moon." Dated 1991. My Dad always gives me something special on Valentine's Day, and the two of us share a deep, solid bond over sports, so I find the inscription quite touching. It bothers me that the tape ended up at a Salvation Army; it isn't all that old for one, which left me guessing what happened. Was there some falling out between the two? Did the daughter die, and someone gave away her VHS collection, without a closer look? Maybe she decided to do a major Spring cleaning overhaul, and in doing so realized that she didn't need all of those old, goodfornothing VHS tapes. Who knows. I like a good mystery, which could explain part of my attraction to older things. It's not just possessions that interest me, though, I've always taken a liking to old films, especially old horror films. Sometimes I feel like older films, particularly black and whites, are more effective in their subtlety; at times the unseen is far more evocative.
Writing about things from the past brings me to another topic--one that I don't like addressing, but that probably warrants discussion--my inability to let go. I wouldn't necessarily call it an inability, because I'm quite sure it's possible, I just have a difficult time with it. Sometimes I am literally bombarded with images, which appear somewhat like the images in Natural Born killers-- quick flashes of disturbing things that I wish to forget. Or, do I really want to forget them? I think I do, but then why hold on so tightly? Why can't I just let go? Even writing about this causes my chest to tighten and my breath to grow shallow. It's frightening. I wonder if there is any correlation between being obsessed with items from the past and my inadequacy in being able to move on from my own past. Hmm. . .okay, I'll leave it at that, as I don't have a good enough answer, but I will also leave you with this: a pic from my most recent thrifting jaunt, and a quote from the Undertaker, who seems to have all the answers. "The spirit of the Undertaker lives within the soul of all mankind. The eternal flame of light that cannot be extinguished. The origin of which cannot be explained. The answer lies in the everlasting spirit. Soon all mankind will witness the rebirth of the Undertaker--I will not rest in peace."
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!