I’ll admit it. I have an insatiable appetite for THINGS. All the beautiful stuff of life: Meissen china, Georgian silver, Aubusson carpets, the whole kit & kaboodle. As Coco Chanel once advised, “The best things in life are free, Chérie. The second best are very, very expensive.”
It is a passion that never leaves me. At the end of a long day of shopping, after I have gotten into bed, slipping in between my freshly pressed Wamsutta Dream Zone 1000 Thread Count PimaCott sheets, I might sit up for hour and read. Oh, not reading as you think of it. I don’t enjoy reading BOOKS. Staring at a lot of black marks on a page and trying to make sense of them. Not my idea of fun. No, I’m a visual person. What I like best before sleeping is paging through mail-order catalogs. Hammacher-Schlemmer is a favorite. Hammacher-Schlemmer is a wonder world of gadgets—that’s where, as a young married woman, I found my first cordless telephone and Mr. Coffee machine—and Neiman-Marcus, with their solid dark chocolate Monopoly set or a dirigible, yes, you can have that, too, flying high above the world in a great silvery gas balloon! To think that in this world of so many things, they are still making and selling MORE fantastic things! I think it’s a good thing, don’t you? Because no matter how much you have, it still gives you a reason to WANT MORE. And wanting more is a reason to go on living, isn’t it? The great golden carrot that keeps you dancing and grasping ahead until the Maker draws your ping pong ball in the Great Mortality Lottery.
I look about this room. So many clocks. Tiffany clocks, Cartier clocks. I lie here motionless, but Time keeps marching on. And everything I know and love moves into the past, second by second—Tick. Tick. Tick. Everything piling up behind me. Like a huge cluttered warehouse of furniture kept in the back of my mind. Remember that marvelous old movie Citizen Kane and the absolute crates and crates of statuary and furniture and art Kane had stacked up? I know the feeling—“ROSEBUD.”
Feeling sleepy now, as I am about to drift into a dreamland of merchandise, I think of that adorable little blonde-haired orphan Oliver pleading, “I’d like some more, please.” Yes, please, God—I’d like some more.
Charles Leipart was a finalist for the 2017 Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize for What Wolfman Knew, Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival; What Wolfman Knew is published in the Summer 2017 issue of the Jabberwock Review. His work has appeared in the Bayou Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Panolpy Literary Zine, the Eastern Iowa Review, the Scene and Heard Journal, QU Literary Magazine, and Projector Magazine of the University of Greenwich, London UK. Charles is a graduate of Northwestern University, a former fellow of the Edward Albee Foundation. He lives and writes in New York City.
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