Sunday, October 27, 2013

Everything Must Go!

I fear that for me all will end with neither a bang nor a whimper but with a somber yard sale.

Everything must go!

If the day comes when they haul me off to the Happy Haven nursing home, I’ll have to leave 99.9 percent of my shit behind.


It will be a painful triage. Forget about my music collection of roughly 300 cds. No room for that at Happy Haven. Pick four or five “deserted island” cds, or in this case “nursing home” cds.

And all my rows and piles of books, too. Liquidate! Pick four or five.

The same goes for clothes. How many shirts will fit in my one lone personal closet and/or nightstand at Happy Haven? Six? How many pants?

Furniture? No need or room for that anymore. Dump it all! Dump all those kitchen gadgets, too.

I suppose it’ll be a whole lot less traumatic if I can convince myself to embrace austerity. Austerity, they say, is good for the soul. Buddha says suffering is caused by attachment. I could welcome my banishment to Happy Haven as an opportunity to experience the joy of unencumbered purity, like the Buddha.

I could learn to see my abrupt, involuntary downsizing as my big chance to live like Jesus. Jesus didn’t own a damn thing except his sandals and gown. But the problem is, millions of people have tried to live just like Jesus and the only one who has succeeded is Jesus. That’s because there’s a key difference between Jesus and everybody else: Jesus knew magic. Jesus could make sculptures out of lightning if he took a notion. He could catch a lightning bolt in his bare hand and twist it into the shape of a poodle or a giraffe or anything he damn well pleased.

It’s a helluva lot easier to renounce all worldly possessions when you know magic. If Jesus had a big craving for something like a beef sandwich, all he had to do was conjure one up. Either that or any of his thousands of acolytes would have been more than honored to go fetch one for him. We’re all taught that Jesus used magic only for the public good and never for personal gratification, just like on Bewitched. But I don’t really believe that, do you?

In the mortal world, austerity is like apple picking. It’s okay and maybe even beneficial if it’s voluntary. A favorite autumn day trip for urbanites is to drive to a distant orchard and pay to pick apples. It’s a relaxing escape. But if you’re the guy who has to pick those apples all damn day every damn day for a buck a bushel, it ain’t much fun.

I’m still full of denial. I’m not ready to accept the inevitability of a final, irrevocable yard sale. So if the day comes when the grim Happy Haven reaper kicks down my door, I’ll rent a storage locker.