I stand in the parking lot in front of a nondescript brown brick building in scalding Oklahoma sun.
Should I go in?
I don’t know who’s inside. Man, woman. My ax murderer. It’s anyone’s guess.
“Hospice care,” in small white letters, on the door.
Will our transaction interrupt some person’s death?
I get a text. “I’m walking your way. Behind you.”
It’s a lady. I size her up. Thin, well-heeled. Kind eyes. Young, but with a vague aura of exhaustion. I can take her.
The lady has a trampoline I want.
No space at her place any more, she says.
Yeah? My kid’s got a chronic lung disease. He could use a trampoline. OK, OK, so what are we talkin here?
“Yeah, OK, so it’s missing a part, but that can be replaced by a screwdriver. The instructions are online. Oooh, I like your shoes. Uh, any way, I’ve got a two year old and boyfriend issues. Actually, I’ve just moved back in with my parents. You know, I’m a single mom.”
What kind of game is she running here? I whip out the chronic disease card and she trumps me with this iron-clad trifecta. Disarming shoe compliment followed by boyfriend issues and — WHAM — plight of the single mom.
She’s better than I thought.
We go back and forth.
How’s $80 cash sound, and I’ll take this clutter out of your hands right now.
The look on her face says it all. I’m losing her.
OK, well, what do you want for it?
Can’t do $180. How about $130.
She tells me she is considering another offer. A friend said she’s pick it up today for $170. These are going at Walmart for $230, and this is practically new.
Well I’ll cart this monster away now for $160 cash.
I’ve got her.
The Little Tikes 7-foot little kid trampoline with safety enclosure is mine. I mean, Eli’s. And Laila’s.
She helps me load it up.
We part ways.
I never even knew her name.