The Day I Came to Understand My Father

I was walking to work this morning when I saw three huge stacks of black foam core bundled and sitting in a trash pile.

I spent $75 on black foam core last week for my school presentation.

My dad always notes the things that people throw out. When he comes to visit he likes to exit my apartment building through the basement and take note of all the shit people leave by the recycling bins in the basement. “Did you see that? There was an entire set of unused light bulbs down there. Perfectly good!” If you’ve met him and thought he wasn’t a pack rat, that’s entirely untrue. His basement workshop is dedicated a borderline obsessive compulsive supply closet with screws and nails organized in coffee cans. The man is about five seconds away from being institutionalized.

Anyway, I’ve always found his hoarding to be somewhat unreal. I find his fascination with the things that people discard somewhat alarming, and wonder if maybe he just picked me up on the side of the road as a baby.

This morning, in a mere second, I came to understand what it is he’s been saying all these years.

“Hey, look at that perfectly good foam core, bundled up and thrown on the side of the street and going to waste. Someone could have used that for their survey presentation!”


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