“And it was a tiny lightbulb. Someone had apparently cut down a string of lights, and he had found them. He put three of them right where I’d put the peanuts.” The bulbs pleased Gunter. “It was a gift from a wild animal who thought I’d be interested. That guy with the window will probably like this. Maybe he’ll give me more peanuts.”
Bandit continued his visits for a year, burying the food in Gunter’s dried-out planters until a jungle crop of peanut plants waved in the air.
If Gunter’s tastes are not quite obsolete, they are specific and require maintenance. Liquor needs to be ordered, supplies collected. “I call it my inventory,” he says. “I have a fetish for it. Razor blades, deodorant, glue, roach traps—I can’t stand the idea of running out. Toothpaste. I like to see several tubes of it backed up. Bars of soap. Phonograph needles—I buy them by the thousands. What if I ran out? My whole operation would fail.” He keeps cases of Teacher’s Scotch stacked in the kitchen. “There are two kinds of people in this world: people that run out of toilet paper and people that never do. Now I’m freaking out that they’ll discontinue incandescent bulbs. I will not live my life in fluorescent lights. I just won’t.” In the kitchen, Gunter opens a cabinet full of inventory and giggles. “Look! A child’s garden of lightbulbs. In case of an apocalypse.”