When I put together a list of things I am attracted to in people, one of them is people who have a passion for things. It sounds simple but it’s fairly rare. By this I mean, music, literature, fashion, history, movies, art, football, architecture, travelling, food, what have you. Your kids don’t count. Anything that can return love doesn’t count so there goes your wife, husband, parents, dog, fish, etc.
I watched August Rush a few days ago (if you skip it you won’t be missing much) but there is a line Robin Williams says that you have to like music more than you like food. That hit a nerve with me. I am sure if my options were losing a finger or never watching movies ever again, my left pinky would be getting really nervous, really fast.
This was a criteria of mine because I have things I love and you can’t understand that unless you’ve been there. My parents never understood it. I don’t really know if my brother does. His wife Danielle once said Bobby loves football and even he denied it. I explained to his wife that he likes football but he doesn’t love it. It gets excited when the season starts and he follows coaches he likes but he doesn’t own a single piece of football merchandise save a Florida Gator sweatshirt he bought because he was cold. I have never seen him get into an argument about football and I have known him over thirty years. He doesn’t read books or magazines about football. He just enjoys it as a fan and there is nothing wrong with that.
Maybe a decade or so ago my family and I were talking about death (yeah, my family does that… look the reaper dead in the eye and whisper, “is that all you got, Susie?” Somewhere in the conversation it was made clear in the untimely event of my death, my comic book collection that I had amassed since 1986 would promptly be taken to the flea market and sold. And not sold for value, sold just to get rid of them.
I can see my mother behind a makeshift table built from plywood and two table horses surrounded by a fort of longboxes telling people, “Fifty cents a piece!”
My first appearance of Venom in Spider-Man #298 signed by Todd McFarlane? “One dollar,” she’d yell like a carnival barker.
Superman #1 signed by John Byrne. “Five dollars and you can have the whole stack.”
I shudder to think of what happen to my Crisis On Infite Earths hardcover signed by George Perez and Marv Wolfman where he wrote, “When I kill The Flash… he stays dead.” Actually it doesn’t say that… not that I didn’t ask him to write it. He refused. On eBay, that’d be like a picture of Harry Houdini locking his keys in his car.
When I moved to Orlando I remember coming home and finding my movie posters in a box in the garage. Not rolled or even (dare I say it… folded), just jammed in there like used wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Full Metal Jacket. The Goonies. Back To The Future.
I came home and called my friend Jessica and asked if I died and sent her my comics, would she keep them safe and maybe her son, Jordan (who was five) could read them when he was older. She agreed. Since then, that’s always been the plan. Even I don’t know why I have some of the stuff I have. Probably because there has never been a Natalie to stop me. Replica lightsaber… check. Gopher that dances to Kenny Loggin’s “I’m All Right”… check. Cast Away Wilson volleyball, Hovito fertility God, singing Mogwai… check, check and check. Crouching Tiger, Reservoir Dogs, Bruce Lee action figures? Got ’em.
Only now when I come home with movies do I feel a little guilty because she sees the Best Buy bag and asks what I got. Luckily, we’re not at the point in our relationship (and hopefully never will be) that she gives me shit for it. Honestly, I need this copy of The Road Warrior.
God doesn’t let me have lots of expendable income because I honestly would give this dude $3 million dollars and then turn around and open a museum or maybe donate the whole shebang to the Library of Congress. I feel for the guy because he’s probably been having one hell of a great time his whole life amassing a collection that is unrivaled but unfortunately, important only to him.