What a depressing load of crap. Heating vent elbows. Orange lens gel. A cracked hi hat. Who volunteered me to shepard these derelict misfits to a new home?
Imagine loading a truck at 9 o’clock Saturday night just to wake at 5 am Sunday and head to the flea market? Who would pay 45$ to suffer the humiliation? Only a junk man. One who can’t let it go in the garbage. Only a man with hope in his heart. One who believes in second chances, do overs, resurrection, a treasure fallen far from the chest.
There’s a woman a few booths down and her voice carries.
“They sell him at Sotheby’s, very collectable. I paid 500$. I’m not making any money on this.”
Some people out here know something. A thing or two about this and that. More than that even. There are Ming dynasty pottery experts and oil can aficionados in the coffee and donut line clutching scores from the generalist who hauled some boxes from a storage unit.
But this pile of galvanized articulated tin furnace pipe joints won’t be rushed out to the trunk of the car and locked away securely should someone actually pay a few bits for it. They hand over the few crumpled bills and immediately regret it.
“What’ll I do with all this stuff? Make a robot? Will the robot work?”
The shaved head middle aged Black guy next to me has a rap-patter he’s laying on passersby.
“It’s going cheap, who’s next? Razzle dazzle dazzle dazzle!”
He has the same worries the rest of the vendors- “Who’s gonna make a lot of money off me? Did I sell too cheap? Was that a famous name on that painting? How much did I lose?”
Every sale is a loss for the guy if he puts his mind to it. In the end those of out here stay out here because we can shrug our shoulders and say, “oh well. At least I’m not taking it home again.”
If that’s enough for you, if that’s how high you raise the bar at 530 Sunday morning, you too can be a junk man. Or woman. There’s not enough old woman out here, unshaven, mad eyes with flashlights in the predawn.