Mo’ Problems, Fewer Problems

by Bryan

About two hours ago I set off toward Target to buy a digital camera. It was really nice out and I was pissed that I wore long sleeves but didn’t want to go back in to change because I live on the fifth floor and it would have taken a couple minutes. That and I don’t really like the tee shirt I’m wearing and didn’t want to call attention to it. So I was moving quickly and got within a free kick of Target when I saw people going into the Williamsburg Savings Bank building for the Brooklyn Flea. I’ve heard about the Flea but never been and I was pulled to this intersection because I was caffeinated and on a mission to go somewhere else. Do I abandon the mission and dive headlong into a room where I’ve been told there are antique maps, which is a particular sort of kryptonite to me, or do I shuffle up the escalator? I did a shimmy-shammy in both directions before I muttered “dammit” to myself and headed into the bank. It didn’t take long to find the maps, at the end of the first floor. They were a little more expensive than I expected but only because they were authentic and on first pass I didn’t think I needed to have anything until I saw a 1864 map of Illinois that just killed me. I put it down and went straight outside to walk around the block. I’m an impulse buyer of art/”art” etc. and I’m fine with that but not without taking a walk around the block first. I started back toward Fort Greene and a crazy dude was talking to himself or me, I’m not sure, about four feet from my butt until I hung a left and got my wits about me. Could I let this one go? I had about 100 feet to decide and pretty much decided I couldn’t. When I went back in I decided to take a long, long look at all the maps there to make sure that the Illinois one was really the one, and after about 10 minutes I took one look at it and knew it was so. I brought it to the dude and just said, “You win.” Now all that’s ringing in my ears are his talk of preservation and UV glass and acid-free tape and sunlight exposure and temperature control and custom framing and all sorts of shit I didn’t consider and was trying to deflect like a slapshot until I could get away from the blast zone of the not-insubstantial (but not, like, corrosively large) credit card receipt laying on his table. Of course, when I got home the buyer’s remorse finally crashed and I took to Google to look up custom framing and how much it costs and oh jeez. Then I ate some pasta (cheap) to settle down and I’m not quite there, as you can see, but it’s not the money that’s a big deal — it’s adding something to my to-do list instead of subtracting one, and accepting that these things are going to happen. This is where it would be nice if I had some sort of life partner to reassure me after things like this, but more likely they’d talk me out of the impulse purchase in the first place, so I might as well take this for what it’s worth. Golden times to buy shit I don’t need just because I like it. More problems, yeah, but not really.