Some back issues of STREET SPIRIT

Over the last year I’ve started going through the stuff in my storage locker — the HUNDREDS of boxes!! And I’ve got to get rid of a lot of it, because I simply have way too much stuff. But it’s a mind-wrenching process. Because I have to sort through all of the stuff in each individual box. And decide whether I need to keep it or not. And a LOT of the stuff is borderline, where I keep going back and forth in my mind: KEEP?? GET RID OF?? KEEP?? GET RID OF?? And inevitably — INEVITABLY — they’ll be stuff that I’ve held onto for 40 years, that I’ll finally conclude is useless and that nobody would want it, so I’ll toss it out. . . But then a month later somebody will contact me letting me know they’re looking for the exact item that I just tossed out!! It never fails.

Case in point: For the last 25 years I’ve been storing big stacks of back issues of STREET SPIRIT — the San Francisco homeless newspaper. Duncan used to sell it at our vending table, so we ended up with tons of leftover copies every month, which (naturally) we saved (most of the issues have me and Duncan’s work in them, so naturally we felt they should BE PRESERVED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS!!). … But finally I figured, fuck it, this stuff is just taking up space in my storage locker, and I have to pay rent on it every month, on every item in my locker. So I tossed out a big load of them. To the recycling bins, fellows! And what a relief it was to get rid of all that dead weight.

But then, of course — true to form!! — just a couple months later I hear from the managing editor of STREET SPIRIT that they don’t have ANY back issues of a lot of the issues from the 1990s and 2000s and are trying to find copies of those issues (see what I MEAN??) (It’s mind-wrenching). . . Fortunately I had the good sense to at least save a couple copies of each issue. So now I’m starting to go through all of my boxes of crap (I mean, my archives, ahem) to try and find the ones I didn’t throw out. . . Or in other words: SHEESH!

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