In The Parade - Clearly, It Was Time for the Pink Gorilla to Go
Every now and then, it’s good for a person to take inventory.
Inventory can mean going around the house and counting the tsotchkes, the vases, the teaspoons from every state and territory, and the flatware and silver service. This may be what your insurance agent would like you to do to put replacement value on such items, but the inventory I’m talking about has to do with what is important to you and what you can live without.
We live in a consumer-driven society where the more you have and the more conspicuous your consumption, the wealthier you appear. It’s all about having stuff.
Getting a wild hair on a Saturday morning and clearing out that stuff can be a very cleansing experience. As I was putting on my shoes, I could see a wad of pink fur under the closet door. It could only be one of two things: Either the dogs killed and hid a Teletubby or it was last year’s pink gorilla costume.
Purchasing that gorilla costume for a Halloween party should be filed under “it was a good idea at the time.” Immediately I considered donating it to the Salvation Army.
As the morning wore on, my inventory cleansing experience began to turn spiritual. I removed 15 sport coats (size 42), 18 suits (also size 42), 47 ties with various logos and designs, 10 pairs of gently worn leather dress shoes (size 9), and one pair of Calvin Klein bikini briefs of unknown origin. I sat in the middle of my bedroom. It all looked like my closet threw up on me. But I wasn’t through. Not by a long shot.
Like a rabid yard-sale queen, my hungry eye turned toward my six-drawer dresser. Out came T-shirts from every Gay Pride I’ve ever attended: Denver, Dallas, Chicago, L.A., Nashville and Provincetown. It went on and on, with 24 at last count. I pulled out T-shirts from every Gay Rodeo from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas and Phoenix. I have T-shirts with Miller Lite, Budweiser, Shiner Bock, Gallo, St Pauli Girl and every anniversary T-shirt that Missie B’s ever produced. Sixty-six T-shirts later, I was knee-deep in clothes that I had either never worn or perhaps worn once.
Having decided that I was only at the tip of the iceberg, I walked over to the armoire and pulled the doors open like Joan Crawford, hands on my hips, saliva dripping from the corners of my mouth, and exhaled a deep shuddering breath. Out came a VCR and a stereo that only works if you do the sign of the cross, spit on your index finger and gently push the power button. Out came my collection of fleece pullovers with city names — San Diego, San Francisco, Bemidji, New York and Louisville and Fargo.
Having worked through lunch, weak from excitement and still determined to complete the task at hand, I turned toward my baseball-cap collection. Out went Milwaukee, St Paul, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Eau Claire, Trinidad, Santa Fe and Deadwood.
Gazing around my bedroom floor with a sense of disgust and empowerment, I finally called it a day. The trip to drop off what I had collected at the Salvation Army came later. (I only wish I could have seen the worker’s face when the pink gorilla came out of the bag!)
Taking this inventory was akin to a sweat-lodge experience. The only thing that could have possibly enhanced this therapeutic adventure would have been a peyote-induced spiritual journey that could have possibly led me to the next task at hand — the garage.