Dream of: 14 December 1990 "Wasted Life"
WhileCarolina and I were in Patriot, I began thinking that I needed to buy two new cars: one for her and one for me. A large warehouse containing cars was in Patriot, and she and I walked into it. All the cars inside were old, but in fine condition. I was uncertain whether the cars were for sale, or whether the owner simply collected cars. One old car which appeared to be from the 1940s caught my attention. When I looked at it closer, I realized the car didn't have a front end; the seats were right in front of the car. The steering wheel was up high. I decided I wanted to see it more closely. I had to climb up some round rungs of a ladder to reach it. After looking at it, I climbed back down.
The owner of the place (a man about 60 years old) came out. When I told him I was interested in buying a car, he said he might be able to sell me one for $13,000-$14,000. I told him I wanted a couple cars, but I didn't want to pay more than $10,000 apiece for them. He didn't think I would be able to find one that cheap, but he told me to look around.
As I continued looking, I noticed the place actually seemed like a museum. In addition to the car, the man had also collected small works of art, mostly sculptures and statuettes, arranged on shelves throughout the warehouse. After picking up several of the artifacts and examining them, I was impressed with their quality.
At one point I almost knocked something over; I told the man I would pay for anything I broke. But considering the matter more carefully, I thought the artifacts might actually be far more valuable than I had originally thought. I decided I must be more careful.
The man asked me how many things I thought were in the museum. I thought for a moment, then responded, "5,239."
He responded, "Skimpy."
By that he indicated that my estimate was low, that there was much more than that in the warehouse.
We all walked out of the main area and into a small office, which contained a small, light-colored wooden desk which had quite a bit of clutter on it. Once inside I slowly realized I had decided to work a while for the man. I decided to first clean off the desk; I picked up a lamp which was lying there. It looked as if it were a ceiling lamp; I thought it would be better if it were hooked up on the ceiling to shed light on the area. But the man didn't want to hook up the lamp. He told me to take it into another room of the warehouse and leave it there. Since I didn't know exactly where to go, he told me to look for a statue of a man with eyeglasses, and that I could put the lamp on a shelf next to that.
I started walking down a long hall in the warehouse. On the way I picked up a small paperback book and began leafing through it. The book appeared to be written in another language. At first I thought it might be Dutch, but then I realized it was English. The book had been written by a woman many years ago. When the woman had been young she had only kissed three men. One of the men was the man now the owner of the warehouse. The setting of the book had been Baltimore, which had been a thriving, prosperous town at the time, which was in the early nineteen hundreds. Since that time Baltimore had declined.
The story of the prosperity and decline of Baltimore paralleled the story of the man. At one time the man had had good prospects in life. But all he had done with his life was collect artifacts – he hadn't done much with his life. Although I rather liked the old man, it seemed as if his life had been wasted.
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