Hoarders are something that I have known little about outside of the realm of TLC until a few days ago when my next-door neighbours house began being emptied, and for the first time I witnessed all of what this term could imply.
It has now been about six days and items continue to be carried out to the curb to be feasted upon by "FREE STUFF"-hungry people who saw the ad put up on Craigslist by another neighbour who was all too anxious to be rid of this blemish on the neighbourhood.
The volume, and variety of things that must have been crammed into this modest bungalow has been truly astonishing, but what has been most surprising is the voracity of the drive-bys who have come to make this person's things their own.
After much hesitation, I finally went out to take a look last night, only to find that the already depressing situation was much worse than imagined.
Firstly, no one knows what happened to the person inside, nor do they seem to care. Did he die? Was he evicted? Either way it seems slighly awful to be poring through his things. Secondly, while people were thrilled to be finding new desks, or bookshelves, as I looked upon the less eye-catching items, it quickly became apparent that these weren't just someone's things, but rather the artifact's of someone's life. Framed diplomas to acclaimed universities and textbooks on a wide variety of subjects from economics, to zoology to Chinese Mandarin told me that this was a man with a profound curiosity about the world. Books on how to make a marriage work speak to more difficult times, and I can't help but wonder who Lisa is. Her name marked several framed items including scholarships and other accolades. Was she his daughter? Wife? Or was he just a crazy hoarder and none of these things meant anything?
At the end of the day, no ones cares, other than to know that there is free stuff onIrving street, and a whole lot of it.