Part Twenty - B
I knew the sunglasses going on and off the hair was trouble. It was a sort of subconscious physical early warning signal… the dyed blond hair included… that expressed the inner turmoil skipping to confusion that the “I” of this “Jenny” was NOT fully in control of the ‘antiques’… because, most simply, she does NOT know ‘what she’s doing’ AND… is used to having it understood without question… even from her inner self… that she DOES know ‘what she’s doing’. The glasses were off again: A train is coming into a station? Fast?
Meanwhile and deep within the micro-micro seconds taking place the fanatic ghosts from the widow’s walk above …didn’t shut-up either and: AND: Before I could base line my normal of ‘get the good antiques and get out’ in a ‘where’s the door?’ business as usual queue… they were instant messaging me with more deep-deepest thoughts from way, way, way long ago that whispered, hissed and squeaked “THE CHEST”. Actually… I heard “A chest” and …went back to being eight years old again …WITHIN these micro-micro seconds… only to pop out the other side of these micros with a “huh” to self, head raise and ‘rooms before me’ scan that showed only what I’d seen already; sparsely furnished rooms with no antiques but having ‘they took that’ blank spaces hither-thither throughout “huh” again “if there was a chest someone took it?”. This whole micro-micro within micro… micro vanished as ‘Jenny’ raised her off sunglass to a return-to-hair base move and …in dead earnest direct …ness… said:
“How much are you going to sell my dirty dish for?”
A statement …or a question… I, from within… ‘worked with’. NOW.
Now…: I am in the Maine woods a lot; the Maine forest. IN the forest I see ‘animals’. One type of animal I see is porcupines. They see me. They run away and…: They climb a tree. The day before this ‘Jenny’ antiquarian moment I had been in the woods on a trail and come up on a younger porcupine ahead on the trail. It saw me, left the trail, went to a midsize popular tree and climbed it rapidly in six to eight foot bursts. By the time I got to the tree the porcupine was twenty-four feet up and still climbing. I stood there looking at it and… after a while with it going higher, continued on my way along the trail. The porcupine would come down now… and scamper away. ‘Coming down’ for a porcupine in a tree is harder than going up. By the time it is near the bottom, it is tired of gripping and doing that gripping going down so ‘drops off’ at the bottom. At four feet up. At six feet up. I’ve even see them drop at ten or twelve feet up …especially if they sense a pistol is coming. ONCE, I watched an ‘a pistol is coming’ twelve foot drop by a ‘treed by a dog’ porcupine. The porcupine dropped dead on the dog’s head… and face, breaking the fall. He rolled off onto the ground, rose and… scampered away. The dog didn’t go after the porcupine but instead started howling. The pistol didn’t get the porcupine because of the dog’s ‘started howling’ …from the face full of quills. The whole ‘hunt’ ended right then with the dog having to be corralled, trucked and… ‘taken to the vet’. I have learned from watching porcupines ‘drop’. The daring twelve foot drop could be a painful fall, result in being ‘pistoled’… but it also might… do the trick for a ‘scamper away’. I applied a twelve foot porcupine drop to ‘Jenny’s’ ‘a statement… or a question’.
Coming down the tree with the platter under my arm and sensing the pistol coming fast, I dropped:
Taking the platter out from my armpit I turned the dirty front side toward myself at arms length and, surveying it, said “WELL… I’d like to say I’ll GET A THOUSAND for it. Thousand DOLLARS. (pause, I look toward Jenny and turn the platter to her, pause again and then reverse it to be before me again…): “BUT… WELL…maybe EIGHT. HUNDRED.” (Pause and I turn the platter back at ‘Jenny’. She’s looking at it AND ME.). I continue “WELL…. OK… SIX HUNDRED?”. (Pause with ‘Jenny’s’ sunglasses returned to the hair but not released). “FOUR?” I say. (‘Jenny’s’ face blanks and her hand starts to move the sunglasses off the hair again). “TWO?” I say with hard drive. Then: “OK… ONE?” I say with a wincing facial and twisting the dirty platter toward her. The sunglasses are off and in her hand coming forward toward the platter). “OK: I tell you what: I’LL SELL THIS BACK TO YOU RIGHT NOW… for fifty bucks”. I say this… presenting the dirty platter right to the sunglasses in hand arm. This arm, with the sunglasses in hand, retreats. There’s a pause in motion. Then the sunglasses go back to the hair. Another pause. I hold the platter out. I flex my eyebrows at ‘Jenny’. She sees that and reaches for the sunglasses again.
“I think there’s more of those dishes down in the barn.” she says. “We used to play picnic with them down there in the hay. They’re probably still down there. Maybe you’d want those too.” The sunglasses come off her head and forward in her hand again. Assertively forward. I… put the platter back in my armpit. I had just done a twelve foot drop, then rolled off and …scampered away… just like a porcupine. ‘Jenny’ didn’t pistol me but I kept my eye on those sunglasses just in case.