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Box of Asian Crap: $5

March 22, 2013

I had a yard sale a couple of weeks ago. The excavation of the storage unit led to a huge pile of things to sell that was now stacked in Pickle’s garage. I spent the night at her house so it would be easy to get up and move the strange collection of items to the front lawn the next morning. I set the alarm on my iPhone for 4:45am. At about 5:30am Pickle woke me up. “Shit!” I said. “People are going to be here in half an hour.” Apparently I had failed to press the all to0 important “save” button before setting my phone on the night stand.

Pickle and I rushed to move box after box from the garage to the lawn. I was cursing myself for not getting my son to help. What I needed at that moment was a young, strong teenager. Though I doubt he would’ve been any help at 5:30 am.

 By sunlight we managed to get all of it out. I started taking things out of boxes and Pickle made coffee. A lot of stuff was still wrapped in plastic. I unwrapped these once-precious things, trying to remember the wife who had so obsessively wrapped each item as tight as a straight jacket.

I had advertised this event on facebook as part-yard sale, part-dance party and part-emotional breakdown. Given the reaction I had when I went through the storage unit I was worried I would have a hard time letting go of my things. But it wasn’t too bad. They were the belongings of a different person.

Some of the things were a little hard to let go of. “Goodbye big goldfish thing from Pier 1,” I said as kissed it on its fish lips. The man buying it looked at me like I was crazy. The frames were hard to part with. The decision to sell them had been last minute. I had about 20 or 30 large black frames that my Dad had made for a photography exhibit. Pickle and I piled them together and somebody bought them all at once. I moved them into a stranger’s trunk, looking at my elephant ear studies and my signature on each mat. That was difficult, but I knew I was just getting rid of a pile of things to move around over and over again.

I tried to imagine that I was planning a trip overseas and I needed to do away with all my material belongings. That helped.

Pickle was amazing that day. She hosted the yard sale even though she had nothing to sell herself. She got up early with me, moved boxes, made me breakfast, put out signs in the neighborhood and made change runs when I ran out. Every so often she would go to the pile of blue jeans, hold up a pair and yell out at me, “Hey Kitten, why are you selling these? They’re brand new!” Which of course was my cue to yell back at her, “‘Cause they’re too big for me, Pickle. I lost so much weight.”

After a while we started putting alike things together. A pile of plastic storage went for $10. “What else can we put together?” Pickle asked. “How about all this Asian crap?” I suggested. We laughed together as we collected Japanese placemats, dragons, books on China and other Asian knick-knacks. My ex was Asian, as is half my son. I was such a good, little wife that I immersed myself in the history and culture, adopting it as my own. I visited every Chinatown in every new city I travelled to and inevitably bought stuff to bring home.

We put it all in a box and I wrote on the side of it:

“Box of Asian crap, $5”

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By then we were exhausted and giddy from being up since dawn.

“You know, 15 years from now we’re going to be doing this again but the box will read, ‘Box of Indian Crap, $5’” We laughed at that for a long time.

By noon, the $5 was scratched out and “Free” was written above it. We had sold about 90% of the stuff. We added a sign on the curb that read, “Sale Over, Free Stuff” and went inside to count the booty and watch people pick through the remnants of 20 years of accumulation and hope. I netted about $300. Not bad.

We were tired and hungry and Pickle deserved a good meal, so we freshened up and headed to our favorite sushi restaurant. Pickle and Lapin like the food but I love it for another reason: Ray. Beautiful Ray. One of my many soul mates. Whenever we go there, we sit at the sushi bar so I can look at him. He stares back at me and smiles. Lapin claims he has a thing for me. I don’t know.

This time he spoke to us as he handed us our orders. His voice was smooth and deep and heavily accented! God help me. I couldn’t tell where he was from. He has one of those non-descript foreign looks. Dark, straight hair, brown eyes. Not Indian-dark, put not white. Could be Mexican. Pickle knows the owner and decided to do some recon. I could hear her fishing for information as she talked to him at the register, “So, we hear so many different accents spoken. Where is everybody from?”

As soon as she sat back down, I not-so-subtly asked her what she had found out. He was from Honduras. Well, that just put him over the scales in the sexiness area. Damn. I was swooning.

Of course, I have no intention of making any effort to know him. For one, I’m all talk. I’ll look at him and smile all day long but I’m too shy to do anything else. Besides, I can’t handle another Tennis Bashir-type disappointment.  I like him right where he is. I know where I can go to look and smile and get my little fix.

After stuffing ourselves with sushi, we headed back for a much needed nap. Hours later we met up again for the Absinthe Party at Pamplona’s. By 1am I was kissing No. 5 in the alley and he was saying, “Now’s the part where you invite me to your apartment.”

Box of what? Mrs. Who?

Duck. Dodge. Weave.

Next.

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