Collectors…. are the weirdest people on earth. Think about it. They say “hey, this arbitrary object is available somewhat easily, but exists in a large variety, some iterations of which are rare. Hence I will attach to it a completely made up value and strive to find, document and preserve every iteration that I can.” If that’s not the STRANGEST job description you have read then you sir, have the strangest job on earth. Or you are a collector. In which case, good for you !! Tell us what you collect and why in the comments.
So while mulling over what people collect and why, I came across this gem. A collector of aircraft manuals.
Aircraft Manuals of all things ! The real deal too. Complete with pressure checks, pre-flight procedure, instructions for the hostesses and, in bold and my personal favorite, bomb-on-board scenarios. Not only being eclectic, these things are the most utilitarian things ever, being as they are, simple instruction manuals for how to fly around in a giant metal pipe with wings strapped to it, and not kill the 300+ people inside said tube along with you. The only thing aesthetically pleasing about them is their immaculate binding that survived the multiple sales and jugaad that landed it in its current owner’s hands. Besides that, theyre just black and white pages with industrial looking diagrams that will give you a PTSD attack as you recall your first Physics text book.
But yet, here they are, a whole pile of them, and to this guy they are priceless artifacts of a passion that was never to be followed, they are remnants of an incessant and animal urge to see what lies beyond the clouds, and the distant mysterious, funny, whimsical, colorful, and most importantly, UNKNOWN, lands that are hidden by the width of the world. In fact, flight, in its own way, fascinates pretty much everyone. Some people skydive, some people base jump, some people fly hang-gliders, others bunjee jump. And there are some who do so without a bunjee but lets not go into that today. In fact, so afflicted are we with the thirst for elevation, we even named a rather unrelated recreation after it. No, potheads, getting high doesn’t count as an adventure sport. I’m sorry.
Either way, of the multiple ways we have of dreaming of flying, including Freud’s habit of dreaming of sex, the collection of the very encoding that makes flight possible, is the most unique, and dare I say, the most potent route, to keeping a dream alive. After all, ideas have wings. Upon returning home then, I wondered what had I ended up collecting to show for whatever I gave such twisted importance to. The answer, it seemed, was people. I collected ticket stubs, bills, pictures, even pamphlets that were seemingly completely random, but each of them had a story tacked onto it that I could recall with PERFECT clarity the moment I laid eyes on the stub which it was attached to. All this, I did involuntarily. Think about that. A complete system of mnemonic devices that I created and used regularly, completely inadvertently.
Makes me wonder what your subconscious may be collecting. Go on, take a look. Open the drawer you never feel like opening. See what you find. You might surprise yourself. Or it just might be unpaid bills but either way, it will be a surprise.