Still no coffee table

Still no coffee table, but a groovy wooden chair, bi-colored, for El Nino to warp beyond recognition, or Sketch. Found it at the Goodwill in Glassell Park that used to be the world’s most berserk K-Mart. I remember when a team of physicists from Cal Tech went in there to study Brownian Motion and were never seen again. Some say they were atomized by a Blue Light Special. Some say they married Armenians in the shoe department. Some say they were sold as patio fixtures. Soon afterward K Mart closed and remained empty and silent but for the screeches of gulls. Suddenly, as if by magic, it became a Goodwill. Or a Goodwill Galleria. There’s even a Goodwill Outlet Store. That’s a concept that made me think for a moment. The stuff poor people and hipsters didn’t buy winds up at the outlet store. Is there a 99 cent store outlet store? Anyway inside the Goodwill Galleria it’s like a Goodwill mall and there’s a store and a diner and planters and various offices and doorways and places, and it’s all very clean and orderly and friendly. We went through the double doors into the regular store. No coffee table. Well, coffee tables, but not what we’re looking for. Especially as we aren’t looking for beat up crap. Some people who shop at thrift stores for furniture are picky. Snooty even. That’s us. So we turned our noses up at the crappy, junky, or nice but wrongly shaped coffee tables and fixed our eyes, instead, on the groovy chair. $4.99. Plus our old people discount. We are old at Goodwill. We’re at that awkward age where we are old enough for senior discounts at thrift stores or on the little tram thing at the Zoo, but we pay full price at movie theaters.

Anyway, it’s a nice chair. Perhaps you’ll sit in it and feel special.

I also bought three LPs. One, inexplicably, by the Amboy Dukes, since I don’t like the Amboy Dukes. Another, mysteriously, by Harry Nilsson, as I have never bought an album by Harry Nilsson before. And the last one was what they used to call a loss leader, which was logical, because I have always dug loss leaders. I remember they used to cost a dollar or a quarter or something from Warner Brothers and would be full of tunes. I discovered things though those comps. Will I discover anything here? I only recognize one song (Dixie Chicken). I feel myself being dragged back into the 70’s. Stupid clothes and easy sex and Deep Purple in leisure suits. Disco Monk.

The only jazz I saw were some John Klemmer albums, all smooth, though I didn’t look very far. The record stacks were in a mess. I remembered why I had stopped looking for records at thrift stores. Then I remembered once finding an extremely rare Sun Ra LP between the Mantovani and Barbara Streisand at a thrift store in Pasadena, which I later sold for a lot more money to some excited vinyl geek, so I looked a little more. But I quickly gave up on finding another Sun Ra album, or even a Turk Murphy LP. Of course, had I found even one jazz album, I would likely not have bought this Amboy Dukes album, which, with the Nilsson album, had been pulled out of the stacks by some nerd along with a Dave Clark 5 album, which was a mess, played to death. So I think I bought those records because they were sitting there. I hate to think what else I would have bought had it been sitting there.

I also got a highly technical volume on dinosaurs, full of the long latin names and arcane anatomy that makes me such a hit at parties. Then we stood in the check out line behind two guys in dresses buying more dresses. Sparkly, spangly dresses, short and shiny dresses. They couldn’t buy all of them, apparently, and sighed and tsked and went back and forth trying to decide among the little pile. As they debated they talked girl talk with the pretty checker, who was much more girl in the right places than they could ever be, which bothered them. Ah well the one said, and went back to deciding on which dresses to buy. They held them up and debated the colors in Spanish. Purple was azul, pink a roja. The clerk threw us a glance and smiled. I flipped through my dinosaur book. Outside the glass doors a cold wind was blowing and everything seemed frozen to the touch, and the new moon was a hint on the horizon.

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