Friday, January 9, 2015

An Implanted Memory.

As I attempt to write this blog entry, I find myself staring at a sumo wrestler bobbing back and forth with a menacing grin.


That may sound strange, but relax... it's only one of those comical solar-powered novelties where the figure bounces back and forth.

Today has been rather calm, with little reason to get angry or perturbed. Nothing has pushed my buttons or agitated me. Also, I've not really done anything exciting or remarkable. In essence, today has been simple, pleasant and peaceful. That being said, it unfortunately leaves me with very little inspiration for a blog article. At times like this, I find myself staring at all the unique objects I've collected over the course of my life. Just looking in my immediate field of vision, I can see...

  • A Game Boy
  • Generation 1 Transformer Ravage
  • One of the original Trash Bag Bunch monsters
  • The first three volumes of the Viz manga 'Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign'
  • The Elvis Christmas Album on cassette (happy belated birthday to the King, by the way)
  • Power Rangers magnets
  • My awesome Godzilla coin bank
  • A fox ornament
  • The original Slimer action figure from the '80s Real Ghostbusters toy line
  • A glowing Buddha
  • Two tape dispensers
  • Glow-in-the-dark nail polish
  • Rubber stamps
  • A Hawaiian Lei
  • A bag of LEGO parts

I think to myself...

I'm a fairly diverse guy, it seems. My interests are extremely varied and cross multiple genres.

What made me this way? How did I become a collector? Not just of Transformers or Hot Wheels, nor books or music -- but of life. There is no truer statement about me than this.

I am a collector of life.

Objects are definitely important to me. They serve as reminders of memories and sometimes of people. For example, I went through a large box of comic books earlier in the day. Though many of the issues were numerous decades old, I could easily recall where I was when I first received them and who gave them to me.

Here's one instance of such a memory...

Avengers Vol. I, Issue 289

The year was 1990. My brother Joshua and I were parked in a truck that happened to be resting on a steep incline. We were at a production factory... I believe it was a lumber mill. My dad had left us there while he went inside to speak with someone. To keep myself busy, I was reading an Avengers comic - it was issue #289. While sitting there, my brother Joshua happened to hop across the bench seat of the truck and disengaged the transmission. We fell out of park and into neutral. As such, the vehicle started to creep backwards and quickly picked up speed. Thankfully, an eagle-eyed employee at the facility saw what happened and rushed to our aid. I do not know the man's name, unfortunately. He grabbed the truck's driver-side door, jumped inside and hit the brakes. Mind you, I was seven years old at the time; Joshua was three. I had no idea how to work a vehicle, nor could I probably reach the foot pedals. It's a good thing someone came to our rescue - a large transfer truck was coming around the curve in the road at the bottom of the hill. That man surely saved both of our lives. That was twenty-five years ago, yet I still remember the events clear as day. More important, I remember gripping that comic book, not knowing what was going to happen. That Avengers comic is still with me and I will never get rid of it.

In this manner, I have implanted a memory into an object. I look around my life and see so many objects... so many memories. This is why items are important to me. They represent a tiny pulse in time that we can never go back to.

That comic book is the closest my memory can ever get to being real again.

Now that I've put these thoughts into words, I can see an ulterior motivation to why I'm a vintage toy retailer -- each and every one of the items I sell is a memory for someone else. Their feelings... their hope to feel a long lost memory once again... that's just as important as what I feel with my own collection. For me, holding on to things isn't a reflection of greed or avarice, it's the embodiment of love for a moment in my life that will never come again.

If only for a brief instant, the ghosts of days gone by can once more breathe the crisp air of reality. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to have survived with you. Thanks for being there, Jared.