"Getting To Point"
The ...cosmic transition... before my eyes... of Crap Pile from a shuffling, lurking, in-name-only ‘rare bookseller... into a ...self seizure... of a dynamic, self directing character of FORCE came about in the dark, cold barn as a result of combining... the sugar energy burn of the chocolate donut, the onset of “I am freezing” and the petite nuisance ... of holding a flashlight in one hand and an... ‘old pamphlet just purchased’ in the other hand... with no gloves on; ‘bare handed’.
My hands, within work gloves, buried themselves in the deep sized-to-receive-them pockets of my work suit. I stood, hands in pocket, before Crap Pile with a ‘just a matter of time and he’s gone’ self heated and smug within armor ...silence. Crap Pile fumbled with the flashlight and turned it off but could not easily ‘stuff it somewhere’ so... it remained in his bare hand. The other (left) bare hand held his purchase... and held that in a ‘now what am I going to do with this?’ quandary. WHAT DOES one do... with a fragile ‘just bought it’ ‘rare book’... in a dark and cold old New England barn?
YOU TAKE IT TO YOUR TRUCK. Safely store it... preferably in an EMPTY brief case waiting behind the driver’s seat PUT THERE by YOU (a rare bookseller) JUST to put THIS and any other ‘rare book’ IN. Bare handed awkward, dark, cold ...balancing... was Crap Pile’s decisive action. It must have been the chocolate donut. Right?
“I CAME DOWN HERE... to SEE YOU.”
“THAT. ... YESTERDAY**... when you were telling (Dump; his business partner/boss) HOW YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS (the private equity / hedge fund ‘we’re the same’ [Part Sixteen C] verbiage block from I to Dump with Crap Pile standing right there) I REALLY understood THAT.
“Yeah but NOT EVERYONE SEES it that WAY.”
“Right” I say but say ‘no shit, Jackson’ to myself.
“So I do the SAME THING with my business.”
“I thought your working for (Dump). I thought THAT (leaning forward in a chest thrust gesture ...and not taking my hands out of my pockets... toward the pamphlet in his left hand) was what your doing.”
“Yeah you just bought that in partnership and he’s in.” (a, at LEAST, half owner of it with ‘it’ meaning the pamphlet was ‘bird dogged’ [found] by Crap Pile but ‘banked’ [paid for] by Dump; a ‘PART-NER-SHIP’).
“Yeah well that too. But THIS I just bought MYSELF”.
“Oh... you can do that?”
“So, like, IF I was a partner too... I wouldn’t be IN on that?”
“Ah... YEAH. He (Dump) doesn’t want this. He wouldn’t care about it.”
“How do you know?
“Well... we just do like... BIGGER lots.”
“Like lots you can’t pay for.”
“Well... I mean... Yeah. I guess so.”
“So I’d be ‘IN’ on THOSE but not, like, THAT.” I say again chesting at the pamphlet.
“But ...I... could also do THAT TOO? BUY on my own HOOK too.”
“Yeah, well... I think he means more for YOU and him to be PARTHERS on ALL of what you find.”
“Like EVERYTHING I’ve found in here. Right?
“Yeah. Like that.”
“That’s what I thought he was saying. So... I couldn’t just BUY like the way I do. I couldn’t just SELL like the way I sold you THAT (chesting again toward the pamphlet)
“Well he’d want to SEE all the better stuff.”
“Right. But that’s YOURS.” (the pamphlet).
“Yeah. I can do that. He’s not really that interested.”
“Unless I had it... in this WHOLE lot; the whole barn lot.”
“Yeah; he’d be interested in the whole lot here. That’s what he’s looking for. That’s why he’s interested in you. You get some pretty big lots that are good ones.”
“And... as I understood him... he’d be the one who pays for ‘em? And we’re partners? Or does he just buy the whole lot from me?”
“Yeah... well... I THINK he really just wants to buy the whole lot. From you. But he would be PARTNERS if that’s what you wanted.”
“I don’t think there’s much I’m gonna wanted”.
“Look: I told him straight out. I mean: We are competitors. I don’t need him. LIKE what’s HE bringing to the table?”
“Well he has the money to do that; buy the lot.”
“So do I and... MY cost base here is a FRACTION of what he’d have to pay me.”
“Oh no he and you would just SPLIT the cost. Like; what you paid for this whole (barn) lot. You’d split THAT cost.
“You mean...: OK. So you think that I come way out here and buy this barn full and PAY for it and then get my ass way up in here cleaning it out but before I do that I’m gonna swing by (Dump) and SELL HIM half interest in the WHOLE thing... just to cut my cost base? You know: You got to really think about what I’m doing here.”
“Well you’ve BOUGHT the whole lot right?”
“Yeah but... I not gonna SELL half interest to ANYONE for half my cost; what I’ve paid. I don’t have to do that. I don’t need some fat ass like (DUMP) pulling up in his all leather Lincoln out there (in the barnyard). What’s he think he’s gonna do? I come outside and he puts his little window down an inch and starts handing me hundred dollar bills? And then he sends you in here to start carrying everything out?”
“Just the paper. That’s what he wants is the all the paper. I think you could have the rest.”
“Yeah like... all the ENGLISH CERAMICS.”
“Yeah. Right there.” I say actually glove hand pointing over toward a table top of ...old broken china... that I been... ‘stacking up over there’. “You know; you need to think about this better. I don’t think I need to sell you guys ANYTHING. I mean; most of it you don’t even BUY anyway.”
“Well (Dump)’s GOOD if you find a BIG LOT.”
“THIS IS A BIG LOT.”
“Big enough these days”
“Well no he means like that Savage estate. There a LOT of old paper in there. Not just a barn full. That’s the whole FARM there.”
“So THERE you could do something with him.”
“I’m not doing anything with him. Jesus.”
“Well... if you BUY that lot it’ll cost you MORE because he’ll pay a lot for it.” (meaning he’s gonna be bidding against me so it will ‘cost me more’?)
“Who says he’s gonna be paying ANYTHING for it?”
“He’s gonna talk to her. He’s already talked to her lawyer and the historical society.”
“Yeah. That’s how he found out about it. They called him.”
“Called him for WHAT?”
“About buying all the PAPER. The whole family’s archive.”
“They’re selling that?”
“Not yet but they’re going to.”
“Going to sell WHAT. How do you know that?”
“He says they’re gonna call him when they’re ready”.
“Who? The historical society?”
“Yeah I think so.”
“What do you mean think so. What’s that: You think so?”
“That’s what I think he said.”
“(Dump). He’s gonna by it. ‘Cept for YOU. He knows your in there.”
“I’m in there alright.”
“Well so ...you know what’s in there. Right?”
“I’m in there alright. That’s what I’ll say.”
“He knows that. So it will be easier if we work together.”
“Get away from me.”
“Look: This is what would happen. I’d be in there. I’d find it. I’d figure it. I’d tell him. I’d price the block (the whole archive). He’d start grabbing stuff and I’d never see any of it again AND he’d probably be ‘slow pay’ TOO. You think I don’t know that? It’s like right here (in this barn). If he was in here I wouldn’t have that ‘cert’ (Aroostook War discharge certificate Part Eighteen [D]) and no one would know WHERE it is or WHAT happened to it. Except, of course, I could have, like, a PHOTOCOPY of it. Right.? After about five years I’d see it in auction in Connecticut* or some place. So I’d say to him like that’s that cert. He’d say noooo. I’d say YES. He’d say maybe even if it is it’s not his anyway ‘cause he SOLD it. And I’d already been paid. AND then I’d actually NEED the damn photocopy to PROVE it’s the SAME ONE. AND it would turn out that I never DID ever get one of them photocopies anyway. I know this shit”
“That (selling at auction) takes a while. He knows what he’s doing.”
“He knows what he’s doing alright. Seems to me your on a one way street with your partner and there’s no cul-de-sac at the end. For you OR ME.”
“I do real well with him so far.”
“I’m sure you do. He does real well with you too. But I can’t mess with that.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Right. I don’t have to. And you don’t mess with me either. Don’t mess me up on something”.
“Mess up something?”
“You know; something I’m buying.”
“Like what? That Savage place?”
“Well THAT one... I think you SHOULD try to buy it.”
“Your not gonna?”
“Well... let’s just say (Dump)’s got deeper pockets and that place isn’t gonna be cheap. Right?”
“I buy pretty cheap: The old paper. You know that.”
“Yeah you do that pretty good. How much you offer ‘em HERE.”
“Offer? Here? I didn’t OFFER. I didn’t BUY the paper. I bought the whole damn BARN. The contents of the whole barn. So there’s some old paper in here. Big deal.”
“Yeah. That’s what I mean; the way you do that.”
Is this enough of this ‘enough’? Does one on sense the ponderous? The tedious? The miracle of mental genius merging with a... dynamic?
This is the ...crap pile... I continually, repeatedly... sort. Crap Pile IS a mental genius merging...; a dynamic... SIMPLY because HE SHOWS UP. That’s what shows up... for ‘rare books’; the ‘old paper’... I ‘find’ in ... old New England barns. Otherwise... NO ONE IS THERE. That divides the LAND and the SEA. Further... this state of affairs does NOT go away. WHY? Because they too are experiencing NO ONE THERE. Except for me. AND I have just recorded how THEY ....PLAN... to manage that; a think tank of genius purveyed (in dollars) before me. This is the whole estate purchase cycle; here a simple barn contents but ...slithering... toward a greater ‘calling’ (the whole Savage estate ‘archive’) This is NOT a disingenuous expression; they are very real, very sincere, very committed... and... goofy as it may seem... have NO IDEA how to ‘effectively’ ‘manage’ ME.. except to ‘throw money at it’. HOW MANY of these do I have trying the ‘throw money at it’ efforts?
The ritual of having a ‘Dump’ and his henchman Crap Pile cool and calculatingly endeavor to, well... SCREW ME (in a multiple of... positions... IN FACT) is ...only backed up with the skimpy shows-up of their enablers. HERE they are (incoming) the... historical society (first introduced in Part Seven and amplified in Part Eight) and... dear, dear, DEAR ‘touch my lips’ Janet (of the silver fork Parts Sixteen [A,B,C]). When one sees the ilk of the Dump Duo, in their crummy suits and ties... ‘just leaving’ the ...historical society director’s OFFICE just when the... school bus load of eliminatory school kids shows up for their ‘FIELD TRIP’ ‘tour’.... and... WHEN Janet calls me AGAIN to... I’ll be there TOO soon enough.
But NOW we know that ‘Duo’ are going to meet Helen. And Helen is going to meet ‘they’. And ...I have not heard from Helen for six months AND COUNTING. And this is all fifteen years ago... but that Helen, the Savage estate, the historical society, the silver fork girl (girls?), the Dump & Co. rare book consortium, me and... everything else purveyed so far in this tale including Susanna Johnson hissing ‘Go to Hell’ (Part Six [D] with Susanna making her first appearance in Part Six [B]) IS. And continues ‘with blood’.
* : Fifteen years ago Connecticut was still a ‘hot spot’ for historic paper auctions. It was fading then. These days (2014) the Dump & Crap Pile ilk prefer to ‘send it out west’; to “Cincinnati”, etc.. That’s right; they send Maine historic paper ‘out west’ to ‘be sold’. Quietly.
** Although this ...action... with Crap Pile, et al, has run EIGHT chapters, in actual timeline it is the record of two days; “today” and “yesterday”... fifteen years ago.