Wednesday, 17 August 2011
The Men In My Basement
In the beginning, when grief tore me to pieces, ‘Stuff’ lost its value. If I couldn’t have my husband, I didn’t want ‘Stuff’. I started to give things away. Some things were legitimate, like mementos for people who loved my husband. Then I decided I would never entertain again, so away went the china cabinet and everything in it. Knick-knacks, doodads and what nots…. out the door. Then I arrived at my fabric stash and reason finally arrived as well. I stopped.
I waited the required ‘year’ before I decided to sell my house and all its memories. Before I could put it on the market I took a good, long look…my husband was a hoarder. No offence ladies, but it was ‘Man Stuff’. A wall of old turntables, musty wooden radios, heavy transformers, boxes of dusty, rusty oddities, and thousands of records. Boxes and boxes and coveted milk cartons of LP’s. There were enough 45’s to build a wall and even gramophone records. I decided to sell these things and so I put ads on the internet. My offspring were concerned about strangers coming to my house but I figured I had a paper trail and would be okay. I was actually as safe as a rock in bubble wrap. These men were an unusual breed. The men who flocked to my basement had a singular purpose…to find a rare treasure, to get a BARGAIN ! At a dollar a record, (even when it went down to 25 cents), the men would examine each record as if their lives depended on it. They held them up to the light, took them over to the window (remember - basement) and twirled them all around looking for scratches and imperfections. They examined the jackets and even smelled them. They were down there for HOURS. At first I stayed down with them but obviously I distracted them from their quest and some stayed so long I almost forgot they were there. Some of them, I served coffee. I took a sandwich down to one old fellow who was diabetic just in case he passed out and I would have to explain an unconscious or dead fellow in my basement.
Eventually, they would emerge, arms wrapped around their discoveries, and an absolute twinkle in their eyes. If they only knew….I would have just given them the records to be reminded of my husband’s eyes when he first snared the same treasures.