Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Troll Towers: the view from the ground floor

When I sneaked back into troll-collecting, I know not when or how (or why), I had to find a place to stash them. I saw these pictures of massive collections, seemingly thousands, all lined up on shelves on the wall, and didn't want that. It seemed to me you wouldn't be able to find a specific troll, and I didn't want enough room to let my collection get that big. So I racked my brains for something I could use, something with shelves, something I could put on my desk and look at and access so I could have trolls right beside me all day.

So I came up with this. I didn't even have to buy anything! Old CD racks, gathering dust in the corner. I came close to painting them, as they looked kind of  jail-ish, but someone in my troll group (yes, I have a troll group) told me to leave it alone, it had an Elvis jailhouse rock/'60s discoteque feeling to it and made it look pleasingly like trolls a-go-go. The clear shelves make photographing them from the bottom floor kind of interesting.

This is an earlier model, and since then I've added trolls, and added a breezeway between the two towers, mainly for more shelves. I soon had to reinforce the middle ones (made from more empty CD cases) because they kept flying out the back. 

Bentley, yes, Bentley does love these trolls, and he sometimes grabs one by the hair and makes off with it (though lately his interest has waned). I peruse Amazon and Etsy sites to see what I'd love to have, and can't afford. I think I wrote about Trollina already (didn't I?). She was a rescue, and I had the predictable reaction of bonding with her. Since then I've become, if not a serious collector (can't afford it), then a fairly serious obsesser.

My troll Facebook page displays things that would cost me hundreds of dollars, if I could even find them. They aren't supposed to buy and sell on that page, but most of the posts seem to be in the nature of, "Look at this gorgeous thing. I am looking for a forever home. Are you interested?" Sometimes I think it is set up to incite troll envy. But never mind, I post Trollina in hand-knitted things, and so far no one has thrown me out. I will never be able to afford a 17" Dam giant - hell, even a 7" is a hardship for me. 

Why am I doing this? I collected "Dam things" when I was ten, the best year of my life. I associate it with two significant friendships (both of whom I am still in touch with on Facebook).  I also think it's a sort of echo of empty-nester syndrome: the grandkids are now either pre-teens or adolescents, and the sense of loss is palpable. 

I look at videos of reborns, some of whom move, breathe and make sounds, and even pee. It freaks me out, but I am still drawn to it, the "morning routine", the "shopping trip", the "temper tantrum" and reborn toddler getting sick and running a fever and even throwing up. There is even realistic poop - I don't know if you make this yourself or buy it. I am sure there are recipes.

I am not that far gone yet, but sometimes I wonder. I will do almost anything to dodge the clinical depression that nearly finished me through most of my life. You can't cuddle a troll or make it talk (or, at least, if you hear it talk you're in trouble). But they tweak something in me, something I like. I want to dodge the elitism I already see, which seems to be part of human nature. A lot of my trolls, the majority in fact, cost me $4.50 at the dollar store. Then I make them over with new hair and eyes.

Where does it end? I guess, when I get tired of it. It hasn't happened yet.