I Ended Up With Books

Every May our neighborhood has a collective garage sale. Wait a minute, that makes us sound like Socialists, and i doubt there are many Socialists in our neighborhood besides me. Our entire neighborhood has separate collective garage sales, and thousands of people show up. Maybe five to ten thousand. So, at six in the morning Jenny and I were schlepping two years of junk that we had collected out into the driveway to offer to our fellow citizens, who start showing up around 7 for the 9 o’clock start. They descended on our tables of junk before we could even eat the donuts we had picked out for breakfast. And they didn’t stop coming until nearly five this evening.

We sold nearly everything we put out.

Except books.

Nobody bought a single Zombie Logic Press book. A sign indicating these were books by local authors produced right here in good old Rockford made no difference. Like dogs who know there’s a bitter pill hidden inside a cheeseburger they din’t know exactly what was in those books, they just knew they wanted anything else.

I’m years and years beyond even being bitter or sad about that. I sat there on the porch with my best buddy drinking CC and water, then Jack and Tab Cola, then Jack and water and watching Jenny collect money hand over fist for a bunch of garbage we couldn’t have been any happier to get out of our basement.

I did manage to make a couple of sweeps of the neighborhood looking for vinyl records, VHS tapes, and whatever other interesting items I could find, but I ended up with the same thing I always end up with… books.

I scored both a hard and softcover copy of Gore Vidal’s Burr from an older gentleman who explained his wife insisted something had to go. We discussed the book for a while, then I moved on. I later acquired a volume of Rod McKuen’s poetry, a collection of H.G. Wells’ stories, and a slim copy of Gide’s The Immoralist. Only two of the 100 or so sales even had any vinyl records, but I did manage to score this gem…

Saturday Night Live

It wasn’t as exciting as last year’s haul, which included a Smith Corona Sterling typewriter, about twenty VHS horror tapes, and a signed Mercury mission photograph of Alan Shepard, but all in all the good company and bread we made had a palliative effect. I have no idea what we’ll sell next year, if anything, but I can predict one thing for certain: I’ll end up with books.

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