Garage Sale 1

An elderly Chinese man about 5’4″. Viewed sideways, a slightly pear shape to his figure.

No one else in the garage on a warm Saturday afternoon. Quietly and painstakingly folding men’s pants on a table. Occasionally measuring them with a tape measure he had just retrieved from his car.

(“Do you have a tape measure?” he had asked.

“No,” we answered, assuming he wanted to buy one.)

We were all surprised when he returned with a measuring tape and began to examine the pants more closely, knowledgably folding them in a neat, concise pile. Courtesy? Attention to detail? A previous life in a tailor shop? A solitary sensuous experience?
We then noticed the pants he was picking out were similar in style to the ones he was currently wearing.

Finally, he brought out his selection and paid without any haggling over price, his genuine smile revealing some missing teeth. He had found exactly what he needed and wanted. He nodded at us, and my daughter and I bowed our heads slightly in courtesy to him, which he obviously appreciated.

He was on his way down the driveway when he noticed the Tibetan meditation book and CD, and happily came back to pay yet again (his third time; he had previously bought a VHS of Dr. Paul Lamm’s Tai Chi video for older adults.

Garage sales always have their troughs as well as crests. But this gentle man made our entire day and gracefully transcended the August afternoon silence.

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