Estate Sale! Get Your Bargains Here!
by Jake Block
With the recent death of my friend Typhon Draconis, it brought home something that as a son of a mortician I have always known. You never know when death is coming for you, but rest assured, it IS coming. The older you get, the odds are in your favor that its coming will be sooner than later, but even then, unless you decide to take the matter into your own hands and leave this life in an act of suicide, you just have to wait and wonder like the rest of us.
According to my doctor, using his handy-dandy computer program and 40 years of experience, he estimates that with my medical history, it’s a good bet that I will live at least another 7 years, to age 77 (74%), and all things being equal, I could live to the ripe old age of 82 (+/- 3 years)… “barring unforeseen circumstances.” My heart is good, lungs are good, I’ve never smoked and drink so seldom that I am considered a non-drinker. No drugs, other than those I need for known medical conditions. So there it is!!! Time to sit back and take it easy.
“Shit happens,” as they say. You can be on a winning streak at the craps table, rolling the bones and making pass after pass, but in an instant it can all change, and frequently does. That perfect 7 is great on your opening pass, but when your point is 5, a 7 is the last thing you need to see when the line is loaded and you’ve just made 22 consecutive passes. You can go from flush to flat in the blink of an eye. You can play a a blazing game of racquetball in the morning and have a massive heart attack walking to your car in the afternoon. Time’s up… party’s over.
It’s a good reminder to take care of business while you can and to keep as few loose ends untied as possible, so that someone else doesn’t have to attempt to “guess” at what your final wishes might have been as far as your funeral wants and the disposition of your personal property. I have a Will, but it’s well over 20 years old, and have acquired a lot of things in that time that need to be disposed of after I die, or they’ll just end up on Ebay or in a garage sale unless I take the time to catalog them with photos and the name and address of the people that I wish to bequeath them to.
Hundreds of books, some rare, some signed, some just “different,” that might mean something to someone, rather than nothing to someone who finds them on a garage sale table for 25¢ per book, figurines and altar pieces that a Satanist would appreciate, but that someone around here would consider only as trash, 50 Tarot decks, some rare and valuable, crystal balls, camera equipment for days, toys by the shelf-full, watches… you name it. It behooves me to put a little thought into the pieces I really care about and match them up with those I think will enjoy them and care for them.
Now is the time, I think, when I can look at things dispassionately and make rational decisions, rather than after being told by my doctor to “get my affairs in order,” because when that happens, I’m afraid that getting things organized will probably be the last thing on my mind. Knowing myself, when that time comes, I would spend my time in a car, looking for one last great shot before I lay down my cameras for good.
Most people don’t plan for the end, and tend to prefer to not even think about it. I’ve gone to estate sales where I find an interesting or uniquely personal treasure and think that were it me, I would have made sure that my relative or friend got that little treasure as a remembrance of me. But there it is, in a pile of chipped and worn bric-a-brac, for sale for a buck. It’s almost like a poignant and melancholy footnote to the life of the former owner.