Old things do not die but are reborn in the living rooms and lofts of hipsters and pack rats. I have been tasked with de-cluttering my home so of course I visited a bi yearly flee market. Makes sense right?
As we walked the crowded sidewalks trying our best not to lose our four year old, I browse the tables and decorate the den that exists only n my mind.
This den, or office, no… a library, is filled with curiosities. Classy clutter that inspires questions and conversations. Objects that tell stories, images that do the same. And of course books. All sorts of books.
I walk around and find enough things I like to fill this imaginary room and more. But I buy nothing.
Nothing here is right for me. I found a table of old boxing gloves and a perfect program from an Army Navy Football game, I love them both. Great aesthetic possessing the exact mix of character and adventure I would love to represent. I check the price tag, three dollars. I have ten in my back pocket. I set the gloves and the program down and move to the next table.
I wasn’t at that football game. I have never sat in the stands of Army vs. Navy. I never strapped on those boxing gloves.
I have no problem with the idea of decorating however one pleases. I have seen some do wonderful things with the second hand adventures of others. That is not want I want for myself.
I can go to Pier 1 and get a golden Buddha, but if I’m going to get a Buddha I want to have obtained it in Southeast Asia.
I can imagine it now, I’m sitting in a worn leather arm chair while my grandson pulls a shinny artifact from a dark wood shelf. “Wow, what is this Grandpa?” “Aaaaah yes, the mystic reclining Buddha. Back in 2012 I ventured into the secluded strip mall of a treacherous land called suburbia. After traversing an endless parking lot I was presented that statue by teenage clerk who was in hurry because it was three minutes past her break. I will never forget that adventure.”
So I walk from table to table and realize I am not dreaming of decorating, I’m dreaming about adventure. I have a notebook filled with sketches of adventurers and notable figures from history. In the front is a hand drawn map and a list of locations.
That list has a couple of check marks next to it but not enough. I have never been to Machu Pichu. I have not seen the Great Wall. Timbuktu is a real place and I want to go there.
As I’m walking and dreaming of a room representing a life lived, not just decorated, my phone rings. I look down hoping it’s a potential employer. It is not. It is a reminder that I need to hurry to pick up daughter number one from ballet practice.
As we walk to the car I watch daughter number two running down the sidewalk with her arms outstretched. She is an airplane. I am a four year old approaching middle age.
Like all this old junk, my dreams just won’t die. They get resold and passed around, placed on a shelf. Dreams get dusty but there they are. Waiting.