Thrift Store Entertainment
I went to the thrift store for nothing more than entertainment.
Inside the door, I see the sign. White tags. Green tags. 50% off. I’m not here to shop...unless I find an art bonanza--bangles or baubles. Or the ever elusive blue vinyl LP. I wind through the sweaters and the misshapen shoes. I look at a kind of familiar top. I had one like it. No, I had it. And I gave it to the store more than 6 months ago. It looks like it’s been wadded in a bag since then. I catch a glimpse of a young, campy Wayne Newton, teeth sparkling, on an album cover.
At the end of the rack, there are heaps and piles of undies, scarves, handkerchiefs and unmentionables 5 for 99 cents that were never, ever meant to go to a thrift store. There’s a big man looking through them. His hairy belly sticks out from under his shirt. If he’s going to wear those women’s underthings, I don’t want to know.
I dodge through the bric-a-brac. An old guy picks up something behind me. I hear him tell his wife, “Look, Long John Silver. Remember when that used to be on the TV?” Huh? I am fully immersed in this surreal universe. Someone walks by speaking a language I don’t even recognize.
I must get out. I head for the door. I’m walking like a cowboy through the parking lot in my jeans. Swaggering. This makes no sense. I grew up in the Chicago ‘burbs. But I am. Somehow I have been sucked into the vortex of the fringe.