While the summer rolls on as “the one when I got hit by a freight train” continues, my house is now officially headed toward a short sale. There’s no shame in it, I suppose, as I am one of the masses. However the angst of our departure in this way, is indelible on my soul.
After the process of selling all of my worldly goods on Craig’s List, I looked around my life that used to be, and saw I was left with a pool table. A really nice one too. Never used, it was a space filler/laundry table in my home, that remained pristinely covered for years. But no one wanted it on the open market in this economy. I couldn’t GIVE it away. I LITERALLY couldn’t give it away because the charities that I called to donate it to were not able to come up with the funds to move it….
My epiphany came when my cable TV was finally turned off for non-payment, leaving me to watch foreign channels that I never dared try before! And I wandered onto a show called Barter Kings that became my Ah-ha moment, and this story.
I would barter my pool table by God!! I launched my ad on Craig’s list with a goal of getting a Nikon D-90 or better in trade, no matter how many steps it took to get there. My offers ranged from an Elvis collection of stuff, four samurai swords, a quad (which I almost went for) until I heard from a guy named Sam who was offering and array of techie items like a WI, a 16 GB Tablet, and several nice things. Part of his offer was an old school Nintendo which I would love to have had for myself!
Wendy & I met Sam in the parking lot of Cabella’s. He had good wares and Wendy had installed that bar code thing on my phone so we could look items up right there in the hot parking lot to get their value. I’ll never again figure out how to use that damn bar code thingie!
I agreed I’d like to talk deal and Sam pushed to come over to my house, follow me home actually to see the table. His insistence made me uncomfortable but I agreed. He loved the table right away, showing all of his cards. Sam then called several family members over and they all loved it. We agreed to deal…
This shit went back and forth for a good two hours. I turned him down twice, closed the door on him and yet he still returned, agreed to my terms and then demanded I find shipping THAT DAY. He began to make me uneasy so I asked him to leave while I worked on a shipper. I would let him know what I’d decided later in the day.
What was either appropriate second thoughts or a gentle nudge by an angel, I cancelled the deal via text. It wasn’t cowardly. It was the only way this guy would communicate. He was furious!! I apologized. He was LIVID!! I became matter of fact and then he threatened me with some gangsta’ speak and I never heard from him again. But that was a long night of sleeping with one eye open.
The next day… the VERY NEXT DAY, Jason texts me and says “I have your Nikon. I want your pool table.” Little music went off in my head as I read that. I texted him back right away, “then we should meet.” And we did, that very afternoon he showed up at my house. He was a very talkative young guy. He looked over the pool table, told me the unabridged version of his life which took over an hour while he measured and knocked and speculated about things. And then said, “do you want to see your camera?” I nearly cried.
( If you’re an old reader and you have found me again, welcome!! Here I am, more uncensored than before. You also know I lost my camera in a tragic accident a bit ago. That story too, will be in the “freight train” series.)
He then proceeds to produce a camera bag. A really NICE professional and expensive camera bag. Ceremoniously, he lovingly lays it on his pool table and tells me the story of the bag, which I won’t repeat, but he purchased it in Iraq last year under much duress. The camera itself is a one year old Nikon D-90, used seven times. Jason is a wedding photographer. He was having a hard time parting with it, I could tell. But he showed me every exquisite detail, unbelievably producing a telephoto lens and accessories galore that were all an assumed part of the deal, exquisitely packaged together with the original receipts, all of the paperwork down to the last nuance of his ownership.
We shook on it and then Jason told me the pool table was going to a bar he’s been building in Gilbert. It’s called the NOT A DIME bar because every item from the concrete up is being bartered for, and he has not spent a dime. He’s all the way up to finishing details and with this trade, my pool table will become a big part of his project and a tiny bit of my legacy.
Jason finally prepared to leave. He walked over and placed the fully loaded camera bag on my mantle and said “Enjoy it.” I was flabbergasted. “You mean your going to just leave it here tonight? Do you trust me?” He didn’t even flinch when he said “It was obviously meant for you.” And that little thing restored some hard fought faith. Because Jason touched my life. Oh… and he arranged his own shipping