I am not a hoarder. At least I don’t think I am. Physical hoarder. I am a bit of a digital hoarder but who isn’t? The relentless accumulation of correspondence, cellphone pictures, data of all stripes… it swallows my mind at times. I get home at night thinking I’ll do… something. I’ll write a story or edit some photos, or record some audio. But it’s all too much. I don’t know what to do first and there is no priority for anything over anything. So I end up spending an hour posting public domain content to archive.org, not because it comes first on my to-do list but because it surfaced first on the ocean of shit I scanned and processed years ago, months ago, hours ago. The digital accumulation never stops. The world will inevitably drown in its digital excrement, its Sea of Shit.

I’ve been purging some of my physical accumulation. A faulty leather bag, allegedly worth $300 but I got it for $30, finally landed on the recycling bin, not for DSNY recycling but for someone else to pick up and take into their loving care. The bag is broken and imperfect, which would help explain how it ended up in a thrift shop along with dozens more bags of similar design and, I presume, faultiness. I came to loathe and sanction and curse this bag. It looked promising with its pale leather and, curiously, barely readable imprint of a Texas Rangers logo. But it was craptastic on the inside. Not usable for me with its single compartment and its straps and latches broken off. This is how $300 bags end up going for $30 at grifter thrift shops. $30 for that bag was a scam.

I met William and Sandra last night. I got nothing but a hello from her but William was talkative and happy to be there, at the bar on Broadway. He savored too the cool breezes coming from outside, through the open doors. We talked about the video game machine and the jukebox which led to a familiar conversation I’ve had many times over with gamblers. He went to Atlantic City recently, strongly recommending the Ocean City Resort (I think?) where he boasted of losing $2000 a couple of weeks earlier. He compared his $2000 outlay to me putting $5 into the video game machine and pissing the time away. Not an offbase analogy but to me the language of gambling makes no sense. I meet people who brag about losing thousands of dollars to the slots, to the wheels, to the dealers. To them it is money well spent.

It was good to make an acquaintance, though. I’ll be back this week, at that bar, which feels comfortable despite my fear of encountering a certain ex who I expect will physically assault me if she sees me sitting there.

The dreams of hoarding have been elaborate. Much of it takes place in my childhood bedroom, emptied of any trace of me for many years. There were boxes and buoys, strange relics from a childhood unlived, angry stuffed animals and toys malcontented from decades of neglect. The dream echoes my current reality of purging unloved items from closets and drawers. It started with the purging of the white crew socks after a woman I knew, seeing me stand before her wearing nothing but those socks, said I looked like a creepy sandman, or santa claus. She said it with such spite and hate I couldn’t believe I’d been inside her minutes earlier savoring the sweetness of her wetness and the whimpering sounds she made at climax. Then, minutes later, I’m a fucking creep to her. In a later situation, different context, she would threaten to murder me.

It was the white socks that initiated my purge of needless things. Never again will I look like a crew-sock-wearing creeper sandman standing otherwise naked before a woman I just fucked.

Getting a haircut felt like part of the purge. A silent Asian woman named Marla cut and snarled my hair. It landed in blobs of dark and gray, a tasty looking batch of morsels sweet enough to eat until she blow dryered then to the floor. There were young children running around screaming, birds squawking in a cage, and the television was tuned to incredibly irritating children’s programming. I thought the bord sounds came from the television. Only upon departure and putting the glasses back on did I see that those birds were real and present. It is a good haircut, one which prepares my extracranial surface for the summer heat.

I get three days off starting tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ever taken more than three days off in a row on this job. I checked in last night on things I choose to ignore. The mandatory retirement contributions I would have refused to make if they weren’t forced. I could not find any path to see what is in the vaunted pension account. I was surprised to see that my retirement was expected in 2034. Unless cyborg-like replacement cartridges for bodily organs and parts become the norm I do not expect to see 2034, but it’s nice to see an automated system forecasting it for me. I see my time here running out in about 2 months.

I wrote most of this a couple of weeks ago. Not certain why it never posted. It is two weeks later and I am sitting in an outdoor space where a statue of John Wesley is looking askance.

I had a trigger moment today after a call with an exceedingly shrill, angular-voiced woman. I am doing deliberate and, I think, meaningful work on getting through these trigger moments. I do not like leaving work altogether on account of them, and I got through much of my time working here by blacking out long periods of time. I can function perfectly while blacked out. An analogy, perhaps unfortunate, is with alcoholics. You can be drunk as your body will tolerate but you can still sound and behave perfectly articulate and coherent. I’ve done it, I’ve known others who do it. One woman and I had a magnificent conversation about sex, meaning, and our future together. Next day she had no memory of it. None. She also forgot the nasty shit she said, leaving me to frequently ask “Do you remember anything you said last night?” The same could be asked of me, but I don’t black out on alcohol like that. I have in the past but that was along time ago. I got away from that woman when it seemed she would not hesitate to punch and assault me, and that she would wake with no memory of the incident. She was a nasty woman with a lot of lies to keep track of.

I forgot to bring napkins. This is not the first time I’ve lunched outside in these parts, but it has been a while. I was warned te homeless would come picking at my food but so far that has not occurred. I did get approached by a homeless dude as I stupidly waved a $20 bill around whilst waiting for a hot dog to be prepared. Dude wanted the twenty but I ignored him.

This is a pleasing enough space for what it is. A large painting of what I presume to be a scene from colonial America hangs on one of the walls. A crypt-like vault with a likeness of f ace on its side sits in front of me. Looks like it contains something. Human remains? Worms? Balloons? I don’t know but it is time for coffee and a hot dog and a return to the mighty desk.