Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tianguis LaSophia

It has already been said that pickers are a desperate lot, same can be said for swap meet goers, but none, none takes the cake like the swap meet vendor. This is role I chose to play today on this Sunday morning. Cock a doodle doo, actually “Come here rude boy, boy,” on the phone alarm @ 5:30am. As Rosie, aka La Rosa, rested her little regal head, I began loading the cruiser for a day of hustle that, with good results, would lead to the purchase of 2 tickets to the Smokeout festival for my niece and I. Like any significant event that entails leaving the house, Rosie’s chonies were in a nudo. She was stressed to the max as we pulled up to the gates of the swap meet, saying she “didn’t know where to go,” and finally, “I’m nervous!”
“What are you nervous about? Are you serious? This is the swap meet!”
We pulled up to the first man, who asked to see our sellers permit. I flashed him my paper, he said thanks and as Rosie pulled forward I shouted, “LaSophia muthaf*ck*s!”
Rosie, not a supporter of my linguistic styling scolded me, “I never thought I would have a daughter that would say such words. I thought that I would have a daughter that said ‘bless me Jesus’”
“LaSophia bless me Jesus!”
And for the first time in 30 minutes, Rosie laughed.
We paid our entrance fee and were lead to our spot by a man in a golf cart. At least we thought he was a man. As he directed Rosie into the space, telling her which way to turn her wheel because the pressure of parking in a white outlined box at the swap meet was just too much for her to handle, she announced, “These people are carnies!”
After we had unpacked and set up shop, I sent Rosie off for breakfast. I didn’t care if it was barely 8am, it was lunchtime for me, and I wanted a corndog. Like every time I would send her off that day, she would be gone for a good 30 minutes. “Hey mom, go and ask the neighbors if they have any dominoes, don’t look, just ask the person working there.” Somehow that took 30 minutes. She came back from her breakfast break with 2 mini corn dogs for me, a breakfast burrito for herself, and a bag of kettle corn, also for herself. “I can’t eat this burrito it’s all greasy!” she cried.
“It’s just steam on the tortilla,” I assured her and she burritoed away. After 26 years, I know what makes her tick.
One of the first items to go and the first swindling by a customer was a pink and purple stuffed orangutan named Sparky, Sparky Lopez. I gave him that name my senior year of high school when my ex-boyfriend and I thought we would marry one another and one day have monkey babies of our own. We switched off weekends with Sparky, and he got my boyfriends last name, as Lopez was still the rage (a post diddy J-Lo but pre Bennifer). Sparky was priced at 3 dollars but the goodness of my Christian heart let him go for 2.
People were slowly filing in and all I could see was sunshine and dollar signs. And then, some Raza. Oh my God, that isn’t just any Raza, that’s my ex-boyfriend/fiance’s parents/Sparky Lopez’s paternal grandparents!
I saw them before they saw me, and I’m too old to be embarrassed for such an encounter, even though I haven’t talked to their son who in 6 years, their son who took my virginity, asked me to marry him, cheated on me with a sea bitch named Ursula and lalalala.
“What are you guys doing here!?”
Oh my gosh! Hugs and kisses. XOXOXOXO.
I had to explain myself, what I was doing these days, and what I was doing here @ the swapmeet on a Sunday morning. I told them we were moving soon, and that I had to get rid of the stuff I’d collected all my life, and the 2 years I was in Mexico.
Then Rosie broke the ice and asked how J.J. was, they said good and that he didn’t have any kids and he wasn’t married. Then I changed the subject and asked how old his little sister was, and they said 17. Which I couldn’t believe. She was 7 when I met her, and now, she is driving. She is the age I was when I gave it up to J.J. I guess 10 years had passed, and it is so crazy to think. I was so distraught after J.J., crying that we had been together for 4 years. Now 4 years is nothing.
They gave us hugs again, and went on their way. And I tripped over the thought that they were such a big part of my life. These were people I had spent multipleChristmas’ with. And now, just a casual encounter at the swapmeet. I looked down and realized some of J.J.’s clothes I had laid out for sale on the blanket.
“I hope they didn’t see his Perry Ellis collared shirt I was selling for a dollar,” I told Rosie.
And then it was time to take pictures. I wanted to capture all of our inventory before it was sent off to the Goodwill, I mean sold. I started snapping away and I heard a, “Take my picture! The police already have my picture…And my DNA!”
I turned around to see a lady walking by whose torso did not seem to be on the same plane as the rest of her body. She was dressed in brown clothing, or she was dirty. I couldn’t distinguish. She did make me laugh though, so I did not hate on her. And, she was our neighbor, selling her own treasures to our left.
I later sent Rosie over to see if she has any dominoes and she came back and told me the lady had said, “I don’t know what the hell I have.”
“Sophia, you have to go over there. You have to go over there and tell me how much asco it gives you.”
So I went over to the crazy ladies booth o’ treasures. All she had were boxes, boxes of junk that you had to rummage through yourself. I was tempted to get a yearbook I had found from 1936, but I stopped myself.
“What’s in that cup? Just Gatorade?” I heard the crzy lady telling her crzy co-shop keeper. Getting slizzurd at the swapmeet, new trend, new trend.
When I returned with a blue flannel shirt and a Lionel Ritchie record, Rosie said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Obviously, it didn’t give me that much asco.
By the end of the day, after crazy lady had walked by again, this time with a boom box blasting “Another one bites the dust” and dancing off her two planes, I was sunburned with swollen feet. Rosie and I packed up the shop and headed straight to the Goodwill to get rid of our last items and she retracted her statement said one hour after our arrival that morning, “We should do this every weekend.”

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