Tom wanted to go to the dump before we left suburbia. We didn’t have a trailer or even a tow bar so Darrin stepped in again. He agreed to take us as he needed to dump a trailer load anyway and I pestered my sister until she agreed to come with us.
Tom and Darrin were excited about the trip. The reason? Once there and after ridding Darrin’s overloaded trailer of junk, we were going to visit the Dump Mart. Apparently, it had the best of merchandise at absurdly low costs and any one of us could find a treasure or at least something that may come in handy in the future.
The dump didn’t look too bad as we passed through the gates. I spotted a large pond behind a line of trees and more trees bordered expanses of lawn giving it a park-like appearance. Fat ibises flew down to the water’s edge, had a quick drink and went on their way to greener pickings out of sight.
Potted plants were neatly organised under a shade cloth and I expressed my interest. Tom told me (again) that it was just like a department store.
Then…the smell hit me. Ugh. My stomach turned a full three hundred and sixty degrees. I shut the window to keep out the stench of decomposing green waste, mouldy stale furniture items and who knew what was growing inside the many discarded refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dish washers and other undetermined things. The ibises destination was revealed. They had alighted on great mounds of food waste.
With the trailer empty, we were to go into to the store. The moment I stepped out of the car the putrid air tried to devour me as if it wanted me to join the dump collective. I gagged. If I didn’t resist the suffocating murk I felt like I could become one with the pervading gaseous mix. I smashed my hand over my nose and mouth and followed the others into the shop.
Oh, books! Shelves and shelves of books filled the back wall. I can’t refuse to accept the invitation. I tried to ignore the mouldy mustiness the paper and cardboard emitted in that claustrophobic space, but again, I was overpowered and found an escape route. The air outside was cleaner than that closed space. I overcame my distress and was able to focus on what other treasures abounded around me. Thank goodness some of the stuff was on display in an un-walled space.
A not-too-bad cane set took my interest. Hmm, the sofa and two arm chairs would look good on the veranda of my country cottage. All the cushions were intact without a tear in sight and the small areas of cane unwinding from the bottom of the legs could be easily mended. I asked one of the many men hovering around the goods and potential customers how much the set was.
He put his hand to his chin, thought for a moment, and said, ‘Twenty dollars.’
Yes. I did pay before he changed his mind.
After checking out the pot plants and following Tom around the paddock for a while longer the nausea returned and my breakfast fought to stay in my stomach. My sister wasn’t faring much better so she and I made our way to the car, climbed in and enjoyed the needed respite with music.
Once the blokes loaded my treasure (no one else found any), we headed home to the fresh air of suburbia—and coffee.