# # Pride in Slavery

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

Pride in Slavery

I’ve been unpacking my stuff over these past few months (yes – I have that much stuff, plus an often hectic schedule) and this, in conjunction with now living in an environment that is almost entirely up to me, has gotten me thinking, once again, about … stuff.

I’ve spent the last 15 years or so living in a state of barely contained chaos. My roommate of said period is extremely unorganized and has a tendency towards the deadly combination of procrastination and knee-jerk consumerism, meaning our house was perpetually cluttered and filthy.

After a few years of trying to fight said situation, I gave in to the slovenly tide, allowing our living space to become and remain stacked up and virtually unswept.

Hey, when in Rome … fiddle while it burns.

My perspective was refreshed when, during the interim period between my last housing situation and this new one, I prevailed upon the kindness of my parent’s household.

Now, not only are these folks clean and organized but they were in the process of showing their home to prospective buyers, which meant it was even cleaner than usual. You could have eaten off the floor – of the septic tank.

Suddenly I was making my bed every morning, rinsing every trace of hair and filth from the bathtub after every shower, putting all of my possessions away after each use: in other words, erasing any trace of my human presence from the household as soon as it was made. The experience was a little nerve wracking after years of letting said daily tasks slide for weeks or months on end.

The contrast between the two ways of life was stark and, while remaking my life, I’ve been reflecting upon it.

On the one hand, I am a fan of order, routine, and cleanliness. What’s not to like about being able to find, get at, and discover in working order what you need, when you need it?

On the other, I find a certain amount of clutter – of chaos – refreshing and creatively inspiring. Who needs the trees when you have a forest?

Obviously, the ideal for me then would be to meet somewhere in the middle.

The bulk of my crapola (crapola = stuff I like but don’t truly need) has been in storage for over two years. An old maxim of mine is that, anything you have stored, untouched, for over a year, you might as well sell because you can clearly live without it. A lovely ideal but woe unto the sucker who digs out said item for sale.

Consequently, my heretofore out of sight/out of mind crapola went from “theoretically on-sale” to “being-put-back-on-display” within a week of me getting my new place.

As I’ve methodically unboxed, reassembled, and lovingly arranged each and every one of these fiddly, goddamn, little pieces of tangible ridiculosity, again and again has come the frustrated thought: “who owns whom, here?”

I’ve had similar thoughts watching my parents over the years as they bustle about their never ending, self-appointed tasks: dust the shelves, oil the teak, polish the yard. While they take pride in what they do and clearly love doing it, their work is endless and they continually joke about how, since they’ve retired, they’ve never had a day off – but who is the joke on and doesn’t the resulting laughter seem a bit strained?

Their place always looks great – you really could eat off the garage floor – but is the endless maintenance of inanimate objects really a laudable life goal?

In raising a child, one of my biggest fights (in vain, thus far) has been getting her to put her stuff away and stay organized. It’s an annoying saying but a good one: “a place for every thing and everything in its place.”

I stand by this particular piece of wisdom, it’s why I know where my house key is and she doesn’t but I think the disconnect is that one needs to be careful not to own more than one’s worth; to avoid finding yourself outnumbered by your possessions. Fail in this and you will find yourself in service to the aforementioned maxim; continually maintaining rather than living, experiencing.

Which leads me to this final question: Is it a cheat to consider a multi-piece collection a single item?

Ahhh – pride in slavery …

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4 Responses to “Pride in Slavery”

  1. Matney says:

    Is there a severed head in an urn/tabacco spiter pot?!?

    lol. weird.

    BTW. Cleaning is an endless battle, that I belive all teenagers are unprepared to fight.

  2. bacon ace says:

    I see you still have those boxes with blue print…

    • cae says:

      Old pic – those boxes have been emptied, folded and … RECYCLED! (actually, many of them are stored under my house and filled with … other boxes. Gawd he’p me. =P

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