The End of a Lifetime....

by Roy Mackey



 The end of a lifetime...    


     Do you ever get the feeling that if you moved into a typical old house that you would just grow old and die there. Only to have the property owner, children or whoever else come by and heave everything you owned in the dumpster? That is one thought that has haunted me in the past. In fact I saw that happen at a garage sale not long ago. The tenant, an obvious handy man had access to the garage and basement suite for years. He had filled every space with really good junk and valuable tools. In fact sorta like I have been doing here at the ARC....

     After he died, the landlord had the authorities dispose of the body and then he was stuck with unpaid rent. This was tragic as he still had the mortgage to pay and the banks weren’t giving him any breaks. Thus in order to recoup some of his losses he dug up someone to drag all the deceased guys crap out into the yard. He then pinned up a couple of yard sale signs to attract vultures, not unlike myself, to hoard over the deceased guys stuff like flies on shit. We were all grabbing things in a vulture like frenzy while the landlord, puffing on a big stogie and sipping a cold beer, sat there in his lawn chair barking out prices... five bucks!... two bucks!.... free!... fifty cents... Just like coyotes ruthlessly feeding on a wounded fawn we shredded that man's tribute to his life limb from limb.      

     Later on when the landlord kicked the garage door open the frenzy flared up all over again. It was like an old time 1/2 price hat sale at Simpson Sears with women pulling each others hair just to get the better hat. Except here it was mostly men desperate for a deal on some junk they did not need or would likely ever use. Just some stuff to stash in their sheds in order to feed the vultures that would be on them the day they died. It was grab what you could as quick as you could. The prices were so cheap who cared if you "needed" it. A half hour or so later all that was left was a few picked clean bones.

     The landlord had been well fed with cash and appeared very contented. You could see he was already planning a visit to the Brick to scope out that new "lazy boy" recliner he was eyeballing. Plus his wife, who was also there, could hardly wait to pick up a couple more tubes of wrinkle filler with her cut of the take. 

     Eventually the rest of us slowly dissipated to find another fresh kill to feed on.

     It was a nice sunny Saturday afternoon complete with puffy big white clouds and blue sky. The birds chirped loudly as sun beamed down. As I was leaving myself I sensed the spirit of some man lurking in another dimension around us. He had been watching this feeding frenzy and was learning a very tough lesson… we never really own anything for long. In the end I sensed the spirit had realized something big. He was finally free of the desperate attachment to those possessions. All of us vultures had just eaten his burden of ownership and now we had more stuff to guard and horde over just like he had. None of that junk was free or cheap. With it came the burden of ownership and with that we too were destined to go through that same experience, watching wolves tear apart and devour what we passionately created to mark our life with.

     Truly a fascinating moment to say the least.