It is... actually... ok for Crap Pile to “look”. I mean... ‘Coke machine’... like... who cares? NOBODY cares... about an old Coke machine buried in an ... old New England barn. NOBODY cares that one hot summer afternoon in, say, 1951, ‘he’ happened to ‘park there’ at “THE STORE” in town and... “THAT?” ‘old Coke machine’... on the store porch... was ... “A NEW ONE?” “Makes change” “REALLY; IT DOES”... being ‘replaced’ so... for “TWO DOLLARS?” ...it (the old Coke machine) “came home” to... just inside the barn door “WHERE ARE YOU PUTTING THAT?”... and... ‘been there ever since used to be able to SEE it.”
Yep... the old Coke machine inside the old New England barn BIG BARN DOOR just off to the side... IS a real ...old New England saga. Buried... is it turned up side down? But still there? OR... is that the way they REALLY ARE meaning that IF... IF..... IF one chances upon one that is NOT buried... just inside the big barn door... IS IT... a ....phony effort by a decorator to emulate... to FAKE IT?
Are we... standing frozen in February in THIS old Maine barn looking at an old Coke machine by flashlight that is ‘buried’ ‘in there’... are we... ACTUALLY really, really, really “THERE”. And either know that... or do not. That is... the “THERE”(old New England barn Coke machine saga) is true AND right THERE but the disparity is... the knowing and... or... NOT KNOWING.
I know. Here... in the barn that February day... I knew. That’s why the ‘machine’ was ‘still there’. It was still there because when I ...I.... EYE... move it... I... rummage, ransack, loot, pillage and... carry off. Worse (?)... I care. That’s why sixteen fifty ($1,650.00) to Crap Pile. I gonna be damned if that mama’s boy of an antiques dealer is going to do what a MAN of an antiques dealer does himself like a MAN; carry it off... KNOWING he’s doing ‘that’. “GO GET YOUR OWN DAMN COKE MACHINE... buried just inside the big barn door of an old New England barn... to: Rummage (check to see if the old bottle cap catcher is still there and ...filled with the ‘last time USED’ old bottle caps). Ransack (carefully take that cap catcher off and put it securely behind the driver’s seat of the truck AFTER ‘eyeballing’ the ...old bottle caps... in it to ‘SEE’ if there are... ‘any rare ones’. Loot (look at the rare caps, go ‘huh’ to them and... put them back AND ‘check inside [‘the machine’] for [old] ‘bottles’. PILLAGE (by carefully placing the old wooden bottle boxes... long neatly stacked on top of the old buried ‘machine’... in the back of the truck AND tucking a ‘cloth’ over them ‘so they don’t get broken’ AND ‘don’t pick those up by the [paper] handle they’ll tear’ six packs of old bottles TOO). Carry off... (that wholeness of oldness... the Coke Machine ‘undisturbed’ that I [EYE]... DO THAT MY SELF. ALONE. NO COMMENT. JUST ME, BARN, DOOR, COLD, WINTER my truck by myself DON’T BOTHER ME AT THIS ...moment of ...old New England barn... religious divine...):
“YOU SON OF BITCH YOU CAN NOT HAVE THAT MACHINE!” You cannot fake it. You can not destroy ...DESTROY... it forever. I CAN. I KNOW. I CARE. I am there doing it. The best you can do is WATCH.
So watch this.
Crap Pile had ‘moved on’ (shifted his antiquarian focus) from the Coke machine. He wants to “just like to look” at ‘old photographs’. I know he ‘buys and sells’ ‘old photographs’ all the time. Fancies himself WELL VERSED in ‘em. I really don’t NEED to have this Mr. Funky ...who is doing the exact same ‘one trick dog’ “any old photographs?” fifteen years later RIGHT NOW STILL... (I see him every weekend)... snuffling around MY barn. But.
OUT THERE... in these old barns where one is all alone at the dark... cold... wind blowing... work station of cleaning out an old New England barn ...as a religious divine... NOTHING HAPPENS. No one cares. NO ONE EVEN DRIVES BY AND LOOKS. This... grave yard... of a box full of ‘setting there’ and ‘never getting again’ is simply NEVER EVER. ONLY.
ONLY... someone like Crap Pile or an ‘of his ilk’ ever happens. Otherwise it’s either the heirs bugging you or an ‘I hired you get back to work’ CREATURES lurking. On one to ten I HATE CRAP PILE. On one to ten CRAP PILE SHOWED UP. On one to ten I HATE CRAP PILE. On one to ten... Crap Pile wants to ‘just like to look’ at some ‘old photographs’.
“I’LL SHOW YOU SOME GOD DAMN OLD PHOTOGRAPHS!” And I do. That’s exactly how bad it is. AFTER traveling in this tale to the lands of New England upside down and right side up. AFTER finally getting to a cross roads (?), a tying back upon (?), a ‘weaving in’ (?) of ‘who’s on first?’ and... where is first (?) AT a buried Coke machine; that this buried Coke machine... redefines this tales right side up - up side down by suggesting (declaring) that ‘pitched’ ‘up side down’ ‘but still there” ... IS the right side up (a just stated ‘religious divine’) and that the titled... “right side up”... is phony... IS FAKE.... is of itself a rather tawdry ‘coy façade of fabricated myth’. That now... as I link this whole aberration of this the sterling fork at Janet’s ‘touch my lips’ to freezing in an old Maine barn in February... to CRAP PILE as a... HE actually has something to do with the GRAND SCALE OF THIS TALE “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME MAKE ME PUKE!” ...I ...drop all that this and... go off to show him some ... ‘just like to look’ ‘old photographs... simply because HE... DOES... “JUST LIKE TO LOOK”.
I do. I do this.
WE go upstairs to the second floor of the barn, turn right and right again and weave by path back through the ‘piles of’ until we get to a ‘pile of’ ‘old photographs’ that I’ve been ...stacking up as I find them ‘back there’ in a, well... little pile ‘of ‘em’; “Here are some” I say lifting up part of the stack. Crap Pile’s ‘on ‘em’ in a flash. Goes through ‘em real quick.
“THESE ARE MOSTLY photographs of OLD HOUSES.” He... announces.
“How much you want for those.”
“Not for sale yet.”
“Part of the archive.”
“Oh. Well. There’s nothing there anyway.”
“Well... those are all houses right along the road right here.”
“Well... those are all houses right along the road right here.”
“Oh. The farms. Huh. They’re labeled too. Huh.”
“Right: Local history”.
“Find anything that was good?”
And... to that query... I ...keep going (continue to allow and entertain Crap Pile): “Little bits. All local (history) though.”
“Must be SOMETHING in here (in the whole barn contents).”
“Well... SHOW ME.”
I turn to a stack of books lurking in the dark. My headlamp illuminates them. Crap Pile steps forward beside me. I pick up a small book on top of the pile.
“What’s that?” he says. To me... not that I didn’t already know this... his utterance is a dead give away that he ‘doesn’t know what he’s doing. The small BUT THICK book... that I open with my glove covered hand to show him the title page... is, in rare book land... ‘too small’ and ‘too thick’ to be a ‘rare book’. OH it could be... a rare book by some fluke chance the subject matter of the book was racy enough ...such as HOW TO BE A WITCH IN BARNSTABLE MASS IN 1675 and having been actually printed THERE and THEN too. But it ain’t and most small thick books... ‘ain’t’ too. So the cunning rare bookman never rises or even ‘an eyebrow’ twitch at an old book like this. Crap Pile actually bends into the headlamp light on the title page to... peer.
“Hallowell (Maine) imprint.” I say. This is where the book was printed (it’s imprint) AND is a dealerly definition of WHAT it is as a rare book thereby defining ‘how valuable it is’ (imprint value only; someone collecting (1819) Maine imprints could... maybe... ‘be interested’ for... ‘a price’ [LOW PRICE; twenty bucks]).
Crap Pile, bending back up, ignores the little book... now that he... ‘knows what it is. Crap Pile does know that ‘Maine imprints’ are ‘hard sell’ unless it’s a ‘good one’. I’ll let the definition of what a ‘good one’ Maine imprint is ...hang up (‘called ended’) on the reader. Even Crap Pile doesn’t know his way through the warren of ‘those’. I’ll leave a hint of one. Anyone got a copy of Symmes’ PIGWACKET, Fryeburg 1799. I’ve been searching for a copy for over forty years. Are there still no known copies having it’s original title page? It’s difficult to identify a rare Maine book (and imprint) when... that book ‘lacks title’.
As I write... here and now... is it not sad that that is where I stood that day? WAY out there... holding hands with Crap Pile. And the tale is not yet RID of Crap Pile. He... ‘showed up’. That counts for a lot... for, as he will tell you, he cares.