Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Old age comes at a bad time

It's only when you get older that you realize that you have so much to do but have run out of time to do it.

For example, I want to write and draw and plant and learn and visit but alas, there is no time to do it all. Sometimes I think that if my interests were just a bit narrower and if I'd stuck to one thing I would have been good at something by now. But my interests are broad. I simply enjoying trying too many new things to stick with one long enough to get good at it.

I remember dad used to say to me when I was a kid: "I'm the same person I was when I was your age. Same wants and desires, just older."

To a certain extent that is true. I'm still just as curious about the things I was curious about when younger. I still like sketching, reading, and visiting new places. I can't resist entering a stationary store even if I know they all carry the same stuff. Visiting a stationary store reminds me of the times grandma would take me to the one on Castro Valley boulevard. She'd buy me one or two items and we'd take them back to her apartment, break out the art supplies and draw the rest of the day.

I HAVE given up my Matchbox cars though. But again, if I had kept them in their pristine condition they'd be worth a fortune. Each week's allowance from my mom would result in a trip to the store on my bike. I'd search the Matchbox display case for any new additions. I usually found two or three. I could only afford one. For just 53 cents it was mine. Back then you couldn't buy them in bulk. And they didn't come in plastic. They came in small boxes (thus the name). There was no plastic on those cars. Even the undercarriage was metal. And the packaging was a box. It was a yellow cardboard box with a picture of the car. Of course, I'd never play with them in the dirt. They were kept in boxes and taken out to play with on the carpet. They were organized by type of car on my book shelf. I actually had a grey metal shelf for spools of thread. I'm not sure where I got it. It was slanted so that when I fetched the box at the bottom, the other car boxes would slide forward. Just like at the store. It was very cool.

I never liked the Hotwheels cars. They were not realistic as far as I was concerned. The Matchbox cars looked real. My pipe truck had gray plastic pipes I could actually connect together. The steel truck had plastic i-beams that clipped together to make building frames. Hotwheels never had anything like that.

I lost interest when Matchbox went the way of the Hotwheels. They started putting plastic on the car bodies. Then they put thin wire axles on the wheels to make them go faster. Hotwheels had designed plastic ribbon track you could hook up in the living rooms. They had loops and ramps and jumps. I think Matchbox was trying to compete with that and that's when they lost my loyalty. I felt betrayed.

It was time to move on to ventriloquism.

Old age comes at a bad time. -San Banducci