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rummage sale: the art of letting go


S. lives in Uncle Donny's house up above the empty shop. Out front, I recognize a coat laying on the sidewalk. A coat I distinctly remember having folded up in the back seat of my car for years because she insisted she wanted it back. A creamy tweed coat that had a collar that pulled up above the ears if you wanted to be warm but looking sort of foolish. You couldn't look at a person wearing that coat with the collar pulled up and not smile in a little wholesome laugh. It was clearly made for a person who either does or does not take themselves too seriously. I found a person taking things from the back seat of a running car and stuffing them into the trashcan on the street. Jamming through the small hole designed for cups and other small things on top. I asked them where they'd found the things, but I couldn't understand them. They just pointed up to the window above the shop. I recognized some other things in the trash can and started digging. Old note books and clothes mostly. That ridiculous white feathery, faux-fur coat I saw from the corner of my eye when I saw her last from across the street and I knew it was her, but told myself it wasn't. In a swarming crowd we both came to look over our shoulders and catch eyes. That’s how I knew it was. Still digging. A strange wooden box. I opened it looking to see if it was the ring I gave her. But I found some kind of silver testing kit. It was just an engraved plate of silver and had a small tool for testing the softness of metal. I was looking for anything that was mine she may have thrown away. My favorite t-shirt. Letters. Those two books I'd lent against my better judgement. I tore through the clothes, hardly breathing. Fearing what a deep breath of her might do to me. Silhouettes hung in the doorway. S. never appeared. Only people who looked sort of like her. I was grateful. I kept nothing.





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