Saturday yard sale. Card tables covered with the detritus of excess — too many impulse buys — no way to make order of any of it:
Dick & Jane refrigerator magnets
only-once used complete fondue set (with cans of “eco-flame”)
the weird wrought iron candelabra given as a wedding gift and so ugly the people who bought it must’ve been feeling hostile that day
the outgrown silvery flapper dress that was worn for Halloween
the rollerblades, black with purple trim, bought with the hope of exercise
boxes of books , hardcover and paperbacks, read and reread
“Would you take a dime for that?”
“Does it work?”
“Are all the pieces in this puzzle?”
“Do you have anything old?”
“It doesn’t look like sterling.”
We sit under a 50+ year old Ponderosa pine, its shade enough to drop the temperature 10 degrees compared to the eye-scorching sunlight just three feet away.
Swerve to the wrong side of the road.
“You got any furniture?”
“How long you going to stay open?”
Hours drag . .. 8 am, 9 am, noon . . . The Tabu-scented candle begins to melt, its strong sweet ‘n’ spicy smell evoking visions of lime green leisure suits and bad haircuts.
A car stops.
“You’ve got good books.”
“Really? I’ll take it.”
“I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.”
Conversations pass the time and amuse:
An Afghani man shakes his head, his thick slicked down gray hair not moving even a millimeter. In a thick accent (though he’s been in the country since 1991), he says, “The years go by too quickly. Yesterday I was thirteen, today I’m fifty-eight.”
He walks away with nothing, but turns to my kids. “Always listen to your parents. Always! Do what they say. They know best.” He pauses. “Your parents are the only ones who’ll tell you the truth. Young men will lie. They’re all crooks.”
My kids smile politely.
A woman in a long Indian cotton skirt, braless too — as groovy as they come — brown hair hanging down past her waist: “Oh my God! I can’t believe you’ve got this. You’ve just saved me having to figure out how to make helmets for my Transformer costumes.”
She leaves with four complete sets of bright red Tae Kwon Do protective gear and a custom-made wood and silver hair pin and ten books and a ring.
A neighbor stops by. “Your signs are too small.”
He puts out bigger ones from his own past sales. More people come.
Most leave with small purchases:
A pack of playing cards from Russia
A box of clunky old computer keyboards
A bag of multi-colored plastic beads . . .
My question to you:
What did you do last weekend?