Bill is from Millville, New Jersey. The Sticks, he says. I might not have believed him but he showed up to Baltimore wearing overalls. The bike is going in his living room. Slowly, slowly, he says. Gonna rebuild it slowly.
Dan had a Fisher turntable just like this when he was young. That was a while ago if I know what he means. It sits on my coffee table and we circle it like ravens. I bought it on Craigslist, too, I tell him. During a time I’m tired of remembering, I don’t say. Just: everything must go!
The speakers I put out in the alley because I can’t bear to watch them leave. They were a gift from someone who loved me too much and selling them feels like a second betrayal. I list them for free and lock the back door.
Amy wants the nightstand. She texts from Owings Mills, she texts from Roland Park. She’ll be here in an hour, she’ll be here in ten minutes. She never shows up. So I sell it to the guy from Essex. I don’t get his name, and he says very little, just hands me a twenty. I watch as he secures it in his backseat like a baby, thinking another thing I’ve slept next to is leaving. I hope Amy’s okay.
I watch as he secures it in his backseat like a baby,
thinking another thing I’ve slept next to is leaving
410-568-8887 leaves the ten dollars under the mat and texts that his daughter so badly needed a dresser and thank you. I don’t say how strangely attached I am to those thin planks of oak that have perfumed my t-shirts since childhood, just that I’m happy it’s found a place in another girl’s bedroom, and I really am.
The kids in the Ford Taurus take the bookshelf. It hurts to get rid of but maybe it’s for their first place. I hope they fill it with Rumi and Rilke and pictures of themselves drunk in the kitchen at a party, dressed-up at somebody’s wedding.
Bill takes my hand in both of his and thanks me. Says he’ll send me pictures of his progress but I know that for so many reasons he won’t. Aimed for the turnpike, his truck lurches down the alley, the motorcycle standing tall in the back like a dog I can’t keep. And then it’s gone.
Art by Eugenia Loli
Eugenia Loli is a filmmaker and collage artist. Originally from Greece, she’s now spent many years living in California. Before art took over her life she worked in the technology sector. Find out more on her Tumblr.
Ashley Stimpson is a Baltimore-based freelance writer. Her flash nonfiction has recently appeared in Streetlight Magazine, Cheat River Review, and Split Rock Review. See more of her work at www.ashleystimpson.com.