What follows is a fictionalized short of a man I met during a hospital stay in late 2010.
His name is Jon and he collects thimbles, not that anyone asked him that. Only he’s never paid for, stolen, or exchanged something for a thimble in his life.
For some reason he can’t remember he found himself with some thimbles, and bought a display stand for them. There were too many spaces on the stand, and word got about to keep an eye for a thimble, since Jon had a thimble display stand with too many spaces.
Someone found a handful of thimbles for him, and having no real interest in collecting them, Jon couldn’t bring himself to specifically select which to keep and which to throw out, so Jon bought himself another display stand.
His name is Jon and he is eighty now and he collects thimbles, not that anyone asked him that. He’s never paid for, stolen, or exchanged something for a thimble in his life.
He has over seven hundred thimbles.
There are people who when they see a thimble, they put it aside. They don’t put it aside for Jon, they put it aside for their friend who knows someone who has a friend who keeps thimbles but doesn’t really collect them.
Jon’s friends and their friends collect thimbles for him. He has over seven hundred thimbles.