Why I Work in a Pawnshop

“I love you—but I’m not IN-LOVE with you,” said the college girlfriend.  That was love’s doublespeak for “Don’t let the screen-door hit you on the way out.”  Since I haven’t heard from her in 50 years, I assume it’s over.

My media profession is changing too.  Once, a good voice and hair-grease was sufficient.  Now, one has to play more than one instrument to be in the band.  That’s why I am learning Spanish and scampering from one money-making opportunity to another.  Life is upping the ante.   It reminds me of my days with Nina.  Washing one dish in the sink used to be sufficient.  Then she wanted me to wash two.  What next, wash them all?  Change is scary.

On the other hand, change is opportunity.  I am expecting 2014 to be full of them and already I am standing taller.  Or maybe it’s just my orthopedic shoes.

I’ve just moved on to the next progression in a sequence of self-expression.  I work for Bob’s Pawndamonium pawn shop now.  I’m their eBay guru, writing their on-line listings.  I make you want stuff by the way I describe it.  I write the prose that makes the whole world sing, the flowery language that makes one want to bid on something.  It doesn’t matter what.

My words can turn the mundane into magic.  Check this out: You can own a piece of Humboldt history, a small metal device used to bond together historic documents: divorce decrees, search warrants and temporary restraining orders.  They’re also great for storing reams of police paperwork for unsolved property crimes.  Yes, purchase my paper-clips, identical to those used by the city’s great bureaucrats.

Searching pawnshops for my stolen tommy-gun this summer has awakened me to the wonders of dusty, unclaimed merchandise.  As a culture, we should be immensely proud of the things we buy and do not need.  It’s amazing what people around here will do for kicks when they already have unpolluted skies and clean water.

Just this week, I’ve made a bunch of money for Bob’s Pawndamonium.  I sold a print of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. winning the Daytona 500.  Prints once sold on-line for $250.  I flipped it on eBay, the world’s marketplace, and hauled in $10.  Figure in postage, and I lost less than $20.  At this rate, it will take me a lot longer to be stone-cold broke than I feared.  America, the beautiful.

Bob told me not to worry about it.  They love me.  They’re just not yet “in-love” with me.  I’ve been there before.

I remember when I was young, vigorous and employable, I worried about being expendable.  It kept me up nights and made me nervous about everything.  Now that I really am expendable, I don’t care anymore.  There comes a point when nothing matters that much—nothing but the air I suck into my lungs each morning.

I’m working independently now—free to be very rich or very poor, neither of which appeals to me.  I just want to be very “Dave,” on TV telling you what you need to know to be safe, happy and celebrate the ones we love.  My cat Amadeus likes having me around the house for more “me” time.  Or, as he prefers to call it, “meow-time.”

And on Craigslist, they are looking for “free-minded models not ashamed of their own bodies.”  That gig has my name written all over it.


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