Artifacts of Life

I hang onto things. All sorts of things. Books I won’t re-read, hats I don’t wear, notebooks full of ideas I’ll never revisit. In my mind, I know these things are dead weight and should be donated or thrown away, but whenever I sit down and sort through the boxes I find it difficult to part with much.

Today, I took a look at my box of action figures. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this — over the years I’ve slowly culled the collection, whittling it down to things that were either super cool, or super sentimental.

For example, I have some some X-Men from the early 90s. They don’t have much in the way of articulation and they suck at standing. Even if I had a display case, these would all be on their backs within minutes, which doesn’t look particularly cool to guests. But! I have memories. Like a friend and I throwing them as high up in the air as we could, resulting in Wolverine and Sabretooth each losing an arm. Or playing in the snow, and finding one of them in the Spring. Heck, a few go back to the days when I was playing with toys in the bathtub — that’s how Cyclops’s light-up eyes stopped working!

Cyclops has been gone for years. The memory is obviously still intact. So why am I hanging on to Nightcrawler and Magneto?

Then there are the Mega Man figures. Sometime in college, I acquired Mega Man, Rush, Proto Man, Guts Man and Cut Man. My brain kept telling me that I had these radical Mega Man dudes that were too cool to part with. But I’m moving soon, so I figured I’d take another look, thinking I might be able to let go of Guts Man.

See this angry blue dude? That’s not Mega Man. Relative standing capabilities aside, he’s not something I want to show my guests.

When I ask myself, “What do I want other humans to see?”, there doesn’t end up being much worth hanging onto. If I’m going to give up space in my home for something non-functional, I only want the best non-functional something.

The rest can go.