ej had a stoop sale today and i stopped by to get a little fresh air, sunshine, and interaction out amongst humanity. it's funny what we thought would sell and what actually sold. i thought for sure the first things to go would be the baker's rack and the cool t-shirt with the 70's style graphic of a man with an afro doing kung fu that says "clobber the mob -- black belt jones". or maybe the stylin' kangol hats or at least a few of the vinyl records. but no. the first thing to go was a pair of used mens shoes. two extension cords. a dusty, plastic plant.
some hip dude in sunglasses, dressed in black was checking out the menswear, then kept on walking only to return two seconds later to ask, "how much for the monkey?". a small, furry monkey sat atop the baker's rack, smiling pleasantly upon the passersby. he sold for 50 cents. i enjoyed watching that guy hand over two quarters so that he could clutch that little monkey as he strolled down 7th avenue.
the neighborhood zany lady stopped to ask about the red, fold-out, chinese fan.
"where did that come from?"
"was it in a chinese restaurant?"
"because i want to know if it had pesticides sprayed on it."
"no, it's pesticide-free."
so she bought it.
and then there were the two boys that stopped to do some serious shopping. they were both about 12 years old. one was looking through the records, but the other was asking about the flask. he explained that the one he had at home was broken. a hole in the bottom. it looked as if there was going to be a sale, but he put it down when he spied a treasure: a used wok. it was hidden under two very used frying pans, but he brought it out for a better look. he was very excited. to his friend, "look! a wok!"
"a wok! you know, for chinese food."
"ohhh. a wok." the friend laughs.
"how much for the wok?"
his friend: "a dollar! you can pay that!"
as he paid for his wok, this boy, this non-asian, curly-haired boy spoke mandarin to ej. "how are you?", he asked. luckily, ej knows a few phrases and was able to respond in chinese. satisfied, the boy walked off with his friend and his new wok, throwing a last "xiexie" (thank you) over his shoulder.
it was a good day to be out amongst humanity.