To read part one of this story, click here
The dog woman was eyeing him like a security guard in a second rate jewellers, combining a look of disgust and dismay combined with a very real threat. Perhaps it was slightly unfortunate that she’d taken such an interest in his behaviour and general aptitude to use body parts, i.e. eyes, for their intended function, i.e. looking, rather than spot the now stumbling man clinging a possibly pee stained jumper, approaching them both muttering the words “retro”, “bargain” and “take the lot”. The stumbling man continued to stumble, before tripping in the mildly waterlogged ground, slipping and reaching to grab the nearest object to steady himself and in the process breaking the other china leg of a china model of a ballet dancer from Italy but ironically made in Korea that had indirectly led to the death of a middle aged man escaping the mundanity of his existance but finding his new life swiftly curtailed by the wheels of the number 86 bus.
The dog woman and jumper man engaged in a lively debate on the nature of accidents, who really was to blame and whether or not the police should be called. And so he continued in the drizzle, past endless open boots with slightly bedraggled haunted looking sellers offering the unwantable for great value prices.
If he was honest, and he was frequently, he wasn’t really sure what he was looking for. If he was truly honest he wasn’t really sure why he was at the sale, other than to do something, as if the very act of existing somewhere other than on his sofa, watching woody allen dvd’s while eating bowls of shreddies would be vastly life affirming and inspiring. The reality, he considered, was that while life affirming was optimistic, and inspiring was never really going to happen, at the very least if someone asked him about his weekend he could string a better anecdote together, and, after all, what is good conversation but a battle for the most interesting anecdote in a distinctly non interesting world.
He was stood at the last car boot and he saw a box that perked his attention. The rest of the stalls had been pretty mundane and, well, standard in car boot terms; dead men’s jumpers, paraplegic china models and fire damaged children’s toys. But this box, priced at £4 contained what appeared to be 12 blue, leather-bound encyclopedias. He was a fan of encyclopedias, who isn’t, particularly old encyclopedias with inaccurate information, maps highlighting the USSR and other Soviet threats and semi-racist articles about the British Empire and where it all went wrong.