Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chapter 11 - Dances with Fleas

Just by the title that came to me from the depleted ozone I realize I should write something with a Native spark. Okay. The music we heard in the morning as I set up the booth in the darkness (Swap Shop of course) was some beautiful American Indian stuff, southwest chanting put with instuments, played from somewhere in the middle of the enormous packed parking lot. I enjoyed it but it was short lived as the guy next to me plugged in his radio and tuned it to a station that advertised itself as being stress free radio. Horrible 80's and 90's pap with some redone 70's stuff. J was soon awakened in the front seat and came out with a scowl. It felt like it was going to be a tough day.

The first sale I made was from a guy who asked if he could buy a cigarette. "The wife is over there so I can sneak one." I just handed him one and he dropped fifty cents on the black tablecloth. J said later, "You should have said, 'In that case I'll sell you a stick of gum for a quarter.'"

Rotten, miserable luck in getting stuck in the nether reaches of the place where no ordinary mortal would go unless they were hunting for the best deals in the place. And we were among the first ones there at 3:45 am! A flea market lesson in life. Sure enough when people asked prices I dropped them in half of what we had been selling for half as it was and they drop the things as if they were wired with a dog shock collar. Hmmm. That might be a good thing the next time I see someone about to toss our stuff with discust back onto the table. I saw it for the first time today, although J kept telling me it was happening, with Mexicans primarily. A young mex woman picked up a pendant, looked it over and tossed it down. With discust. J and I discussed this later and have come to the conclusion that it wasn't personal, it's a cultural thing, probably a way of haggling with vendors in Mexico, act passionately disinterested with the idea that they will chase after you with absurdly lowered prices.

This flea scene is killing our spirits. But I unloaded some other stuff like some scents from our old soap making days, a measuring cup, a crapped out broom and pair of loose pliers I found somewhere and sold them so the day wasn't a complete loss. I think I could actually make a pretty good living just finding stuff and bringing it there.

We have paid for the whole week so we'll be there again tomorrow morning before the sun comes up.

A sad night as J is depressed. These things take it out of us because they remind us of the small town people we grew up with, how we felt alienated since we lacked currency with them. Just a kick in the pants reminder of what there is at the bottom. Muck.


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