The Biggest Reason Why I Fear Death

by Joe Buonfiglio

I fear death.

No, please. Do not engage me in a debate about the existence of God and have I accepted your deity of choice and your path of spirituality as my only hope for salvation. This isn’t that type of blog piece.

No, I fear death because… I have too much STUFF!

It seems that over the course of my time traversing the mortal coil, I have accumulated and inordinate amount of— well — STUFF!

Oh sure, it all starts innocently enough. Grandpa gives you Keepsake-X from the first time you and he visited Place-X to celebrate Event-X, and then it seems hard to part with said memento after his soul or transcendent consciousness or inner-child reborn or whatever you believe is the driving engine behind our corporeal nature has left the Earth for whatever does or doesn’t happen to us after we depart from this Earthbound plane of existence. And if you haven’t already gone all religious zealot or existential on me, just think about that for a moment. You can probably remember that first thing you “collected” that started you on the path of your lifetime of stuff accumulation. For me, I believe this may have been the oversized Matchbox replica of an antique Model T Ford my Pop-Pop gave me to further stimulate my love of old vehicles. Yes, I still have it… sort of. Not able to part with it through embracing anything remotely resembling an acknowledgement that it is “just some old toy that’s taking up space,” I “gave” it to my son as — well — a keepsake.

And that’s how it starts; an accumulation of junk that gets spread out across your house as if rancid peanut butter across moldy toast. If this mighty assemblage of crap was ever all gathered together and piled item-to-item on top of one another, the stack of memorabilia and other insignificant trifles that mean nothing to anyone but yourself would result in a heap of sentimental rubbish easily compared to the classically clichéd height of the Empire State Building. Throw in a few house moves over the years where attempts to get rid of some of this amassed jumble turns into “The movers are here! Just box it and we’ll sort it out at the new place!” (which you never do), and bingo; the show Hoarders wants to start filming at your home next week.

After a while, you step back and look at what it would take to declutter and downsize your stuff, your life, and it can become more than a bit overwhelming. However, do not allow yourself to be deterred from this daunting undertaking; if not for yourself, for your loved ones. Because if you don’t take on the horrific job of getting rid of all your pointless paraphernalia, it’ll fall on your next of kin or best friend to do it after you’re dead.

So, give the ones you care about most the best gift you can possibly give them; the gift of not having to deal with all your stuff while they’re trying to mourn the loss of your selfish ass. Don’t let “I miss him,” and “What will I do without her?” become “I can’t believe I’m the one who has to deal with all this shit! It’s a good thing they’re dead or I’d kill them myself!”

Remember, they have their own shit to deal with… not to mention death.


© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.


…sort of


by Joe Buonfiglio

I am a hoarder.

Well, sort of. Maybe not in the traditional sense, strictly speaking.  My kitchen isn’t overflowing with old Tupperware containers stuffed with various cereals from back when they still thought sugar was good for you and cereal companies still gave away decoder rings in exchange for box tops. My hallways are not lined with bags full of my feces I need just in case I might someday make that killing on the black market for the stuff when the world comes to its senses and recognizes its true value.  My living room isn’t stacked with 30-year-old newspapers and magazines the paramedics have no hope of finding their way around to save my life when I eventually fall prey to the rat-infested decay of my peculiar collectibles.

No, the problem zone of my accumulating nightmare is my beloved workspace, my Muse cave, my writer’s den, my office. That is Ground Zero for my hoarding activities.

See, I’m what one might refer to as an “ideas hoarder.” Afraid of losing an idea — ANY idea — for a story, a script, a newspaper or magazine article and hell, even for a tweet, I incessantly reach for a Post-it note, scratch-pad, napkin, paper out of the printer or the fax machine (Shut up.  Yes, I still have a fax machine.) on which to scribble down any idea that even has the slightest of chances making it into some future project or paper.

Why not use less cumbersome means of creativity-data storage in this delightfully digital age of ours?

I do. Just ask my byte-busting memo app between the droplets of cyber-tears it cries on a regular basis due to my jamming it beyond capacity as if a titmouse being fucked by a bull elephant.  Believe me, it won’t stop the grab for paper and pencil I make each time some tidbit of absurdly inane mental trivia pops into my brain.

Thus, little by little over time, the mountain of suffocating paperwork piles into every corner and crevice of my cherished literary headquarters. As my creative command center becomes overwhelmingly inundated with paper, my besieged office renders me an outcast; my own family viewing me as a pariah, an “untouchable” in both body and spirit due to my vocational environment.  To chants of “Jesus, I can’t even find a place to sit down,” they shun me and leave me for dead in the sea of composting parchment on which I’ve gathered my crumbling assortment of potential puns, jokes and plotlines.

I am a literary leper, as my idea-hoarding ways become the satanic gateway to my shameful self-destruction.

“It’s a goddamn fire hazard!” the wife decries. “Clean this shit up before they raise our insurance rates.”



To make matters worse and, as proverbial — and in this case, quite possibly literal — insult to injury demands, my Jenga towers of ideas are so tall and run so deep, I no longer even have a clue as to what lies within them. Through my own well-intentioned devices, I have actually lost that which I was so desperate to keep readily accessible.  In other words, I don’t know what’s where anymore.

Irony is a cruel mistress.

I’m sure someday I’ll get it all organized, all cleaned to the once-pristine desk view that is now but a distant memory. Perhaps in the attainable future, I will be able to reclaim the—

Shit! This would make a great idea for a blog post.  I gotta write this down!

Where’s my notepad?

I know it’s here.



© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos © 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

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