I started the day with a trip to the dump. Someone is moving house. I don’t know him. I only know he’s moving. He has an unspecified quantity of #stuff that he’s moving. I’ve got a van. He will pay someone with a van. One of his friends knows me. He will pay me. Hooray.
What’s he moving? Well. Mostly disintegrating costume bags full of clothes. Turns out they’ve only been in the attic for three years but they have turned into toxic self shredding horrors. The plastic has become just millions of tiny flakes for us to inhale or to go into the water tables. They aren’t much use for storing clothes anymore.
“You’ll be doing a lot of sorting through this lot,” I said. “No,” he told me. “My body keeps changing shape and they’re nice clothes. I’m keeping them.” Yeah but, not that I can talk AT ALL here, I wanna say “They take up loads of space. You could sell them and just get a new wardrobe when/if you get fatter/thinner?” I don’t. He’s paying me to drive his stuff and carry it upstairs. He doesn’t need freshly won life advice from a reforming hoarder who currently lives in the antiques roadshow.
In order for there to be space for his bags, I’ve had to throw a fuckload of junk I’ve accumulated out of the van. The dump costs £30 a pop if they’re in a good mood. Last time the bastard overcharged me, but this time he let me off a bit so it balances.
The guy at the actual van pit knows me now. “Since I saw you last, I’ve got a first impression Beatles “Let It Be” record”, he tells me as I pull in. “You?” he asks. “Just a fuckton of ceramics mate. Some of it’s good. Gonna use the rest in a show.” “Yeah there was some geezer chucking boxes of that stuff out of his van here the other day. I could hear it all breaking. I could’ve punched him.”
Moments later he’s onto the rocking horse. Everybody seems to think that the rocking horse is a thing. I’ve thrown it now. It’s filthy. “Might be worth a bit,” he says, rocking it. “Ten pounds for a clean one, two different ones, two different parts of the country, collect it yourself, and neither sold.” I tell him. “I’ve been doing my research.”
He leaves me alone. Last time I was here he was all over me like a fly. “Doing my research” is poison to him. I deliberately leave some bits of copper piping and a reasonable enough old lamp visible where he’ll find it. He works in a stinking place and he has a family. He clearly supplements his income with valuable findings. And he’s a personality. The day I don’t get to the dump and find him smiling there with “What you got this time?” I’ll be sad. He’s probably got a pile of copper somewhere that he can add that to, and he’ll get a monkey for the lamp.
Then millions of boxes of another man’s life up all the stairs, and the more I drive this van the more I’m with Marie Kondo where we don’t need all this shit. I’m starting to think of my eBay as a useful way of giving people things they can use that don’t need to be made new.
The tyranny of the need for new looking things is a reasonably new pretention and it’s not good for the environment, which is the zeitgeist right now.
Anyway. I’m off to bed.. Meeting tomorrow. And many stairs today, before dinner with a dear friend. I’m exhausted.