Spring 2006

 

 

 


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garage sale in austin
Robert Lloyd

“Is this for sale?” I ask, pointing to the chain saw.

“No, the chain saw and golf clubs aren’t for sale,” replies the ancient-looking man.

“Thanks,” I say and continue wandering from table to table. Soon I find an autographed photo of an old B-movie actor with his simian co-star. I never liked his films. Moving on, I see a book titled, What I Did During the Vietnam War. I consider buying it until I discover the last few chapters are missing.

The old man is now busy rearranging an assortment of ceramic jars on the table to my immediate left. He looks up as I approach.

“Find anything you like?” he asks.

“Not yet, but you do have some unique items. Why are you selling all this?”

“It’s my friend’s stuff. He found a new job and is moving to Washington. He asked to help him sell a few things.”

I notice that all of the ceramic jars have corks and are labeled. The largest one is “Ego.” Other jars have names like “Faith,” “Family,” “Greed,” and “Envy.” One of the smallest jars is on its side, its cork missing. Turning over the empty jar, I see it is marked “Compassion.”

“This is quite a collection of jars here,” I remark. “Your friend seems to have a jar for everything but ‘Soul.’”

A boyish grin crosses the old man’s face and he laughs.

“I think he sold that one a long time ago.”

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