mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We all end up on two tables...

I went to an auction today - a large estate/consignment auction that a local auction company holds in a fairgrounds building every month or so. I've been to their last two auctions, because they had specific consignments I was interested in - one from the estate of a guy who owned a mastering studio, and one from a creditor that had seized the contents of a doctor's office. I did very well on both, and since I was close to being maxed out on vacation time and needed to burn some hours, I figured I'd go to todays as well, even though there wasn't anything specific that interested me in the listing.

I found a couple items I was interested in, but it was an all-day auction and the first item was about halfway through. Since it was a nice day, I bought myself lunch from the lunch truck and sat down at a picnic table outside. While I was eating my hot dog, I overheard the guy next to me say something interesting - "most of the stuff in there is from dead people. After you've lived on this earth, it all comes down to two tables - the embalming table and the auction table".

Estate auctions are a reminder of something that we don't want to think about - our own mortality. I've only been to a handful - I usually look for electronics, computers, and business equipment, so I generally seek out bankruptcy or business closing auctions where there is a lot of that kind of stuff rather than estates where there is a handful of that mixed in with clothes and furniture and knicknacks. But when you go to one, it's hard not to be a little creeped out and a little sad that the person who owned all that stuff is dead. But more than that, it's the realization that one day we will be too, and the things we surround ourselves with - the furniture we sit on, the clothes we wear, the TV and computer we stare at - will probably end up either on a table at an auction house or hauled off to Goodwill.

And with that comes the sad realization that there isn't much to my life beyond my possessions. Besides going to the gym and running the occasional road race, my biggest hobby is my side resale business - buying items to resell on eBay and at swap meets. I use my vacation days at work for it, I plan my weekends around it, especially during the summer, and it's reflected in the piles of merchandise and packing material that fill my house.

I want there to be more to me than stuff that ends up on a table at my estate auction. i want to be a husband, maybe a father. I want to do something with my life that people will remember me for. But I haven't had any success at finding a relationship - either because I'm not working hard enough at it, or I'm just not lovable. I haven't found a charity that I think I'd be a good match for.

About the only living thing I can say that's benefited from me (besides family, but my parents have given me more than I could ever pay back) is my cat, Nibbler. I understand crazy cat ladies, because I've become a bit of a crazy cat guy. When you are lonely and unloved, and a cute furry thing curls up on your lap, puts her head on your chest, and purrs contentedly, you feel loved, you feel important, you feel loved, like you've done something for someone other than yourself. Even if that someone spends most of the day licking herself and pooping in a box.

I'd like to get that feeling from a human rather than a feline. I'd like to leave something more behind than a corpse and a bunch of stuff with consignor numbers. But I feel like I probably won't.


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