When I was younger I liked to collect Yugioh cards, still do but I don’t do it as frequently as I once did. I remember what it was like to rip open a pack of cards and the pure joy and satisfaction that this act provided. I remember the sound of the plastic splitting, how the cards felt in my hand and the way they smelled fresh and untouched up until that moment. That indescribable bliss is the essence of what it means to be a collector, a joy that Julian Dibbel accurately describes when he writes about transferring his cd’s to mp3’s.
Julian describes the feeling as erotic in nature, which up until now is a word I’d never use to explain how I felt about my cards. However, in a way he’s absolutely right, collecting cards for me filled me with an unexplainible pleasure. I don’t want to say collecting cards was an obsession of mine but I cant say it was not my personal fixation either. My instinct to collect was something primal, something shamefully wonderful that consumed me in the best way. You can talk about me collecting cards the way you’d talk about someone with a sex addiction, something that extends reason but is necessary to the human experience.
Perhaps its strange of us to be so drawn to random objects. Maybe civilization can survive without personal collection, and yet it collecting is such an embarrassingly human thing to do, and it is good. Obsession can be a breeding ground for inspiration, for growth of ideas and the furthering of creating worlds no one thought was possible. I doubt me collecting cards is gonna help me change the world, but regardless it makes me so freaking happy. Should I be embarrassed? I don’t know but i’m okay with that.