“So we leave in the morning,” Jeremy said.
“I’m up for it and Allan is definitely not going?” I asked.
“He is going to stay with the pub. He also did not enjoy the last trip as much as we thought.” Jeremy said it with a huge grin. “He was just humoring me. I guess we have been together long enough, he doesn’t feel he needs to humor me any more.”
“Well anytime you want to go shopping come get me,” I said. I almost meant it.
I went home and to bed early. I did go to an adult chatroom for a few minutes then went to bed and slept better for having done so. I also rode the bike two hours the next morning before we met downtown. I drove the cruiser in even though I had been by the pub while riding on the bike. I took the cruiser and left it in front of the pub, just in case The Brit wanted to use it for something.
Jeremy drove the SUV complete with a twenty foot trailer pulling along behind. He was determined to make it a profitable trip so he wanted to rough it some, as well as just buy things. It was Friday morning and we were off to a storage building auction in a mountain resort community. I expected it to be filled with junk but hopefully good quality junk. There were things going on behind the scenes with Jeremy and The Brit, but I hadn’t asked. It was clearly none of my business.
We arrived at the sale site an hour early so we went for lunch. I wanted to stop at a McDonald’s Jeremy wanted to go to a tea room near the sale. I convinced him that we were keeping track of expenses, and the tea room was just too expensive. Even so I couldn’t stop him from buying a salad with some kind of chicken pieces on it.
A chicken salad for god’s sake, Ronald was spinning in his grave. I had a big mac and fries. I did hope that in some small way it made up for the Jeremys of this world.
It was kind of funny at the auction I was there to lose money in a way, and Jeremy was there to make money. He tending to get caught up in the auction and I tended to buy something cheap. I mean I could arrange fake purchases of ten grand from a $200 lockers just as easy as from a $1000 one.
There was a locker that looked like granny’s last apartment clean out. Nothing fancy or valuable in there. I paid $275 for it. The auction moved on and Jeremy bought two units. In the clean out of mine, I found some costume jewelry which I kept. and a few decorator items. There were also some small household tools. I kept them as well. All her clothes and linens I tossed in bags and threw them out. I had the whole locker condensed to one plastic storage box I found in the rear.
“Are you going to throw away that bed,” Jeremy asked.
“Yes I am. I know it’s real wood and from the thirties but I don’t have the kid along who would carry those to the flea market and I don’t want to do it.” I said.
“If you are going to throw it away, I would like to have it,” Jeremy said.
“Enough to take it in exchange for my share of the gas expense?” I asked.
“Let me pick through your trash and you have a deal,” Jeremy said.
I helped him with his two units. We kept all the wood furniture and most of the small decorator items. Jeremy even kept the power tools and sporting goods items. I felt like there was something going on for sure.
Dinner that night was in one of those pancake restaurant chains. “Jeremy what’s up?” I asked. “Are you and Allen having problems?”
“No of course not,” he said not quite angry, but close.
“Well, if you are having money trouble, I would like to help,” I said.
“It isn’t that. I don’t know how the pub is doing, but it seems to be doing fine. We always have customers and everyone says we have a great business,” he said.
“Okay then I’m going to shut up now,” I said with all the best intentions.
“Oh okay, I just feel like I gave up everything thing for Allen. I feel lost in his life.”
I had never thought about Jeremy’s life. I guess the truth was I had always judged him by some other standard. I mean his life seemed fine to me. I couldn’t understand him, so I couldn’t really understand how he felt.
“So do you want your own art studio?” I asked.
“I could never make enough money with an art gallery and studio. I just don’t have that kind of talent. Not the kind to draw customers two hundred miles.”
“So do you think in you were back living in a metropolis with a gallery you could make a go of it?” I asked.
“I will never know, will I?” Jeremy asked.
“Jeremy you probably don’t want to hear this, but I’m going to say it anyway. You are very talented, but you are lazy. You are lazy, so instead of saying I’m lazy you are saying I gave up everything for the man I love. Now if you want to be an artist, you all you need is a pencil and paper. You are still an artist no matter where you live even if it’s not in metropolis.” I said.
“Damn you are tough,” he said.
“First decide you have to courage to face the extent of your talent. Work your butt off and put together a show. Then take that show on the road for a few exhibits and take your lumps. Then you can really assess your future.” I knew I had said all the wrong things, but it was how I felt. “Get your fucking life organized. If you can’t work over a pub find somewhere you can work. Then stop making excuses and produce the best work you can, and let it speak for itself.”
That night the trailer was still almost empty so Jeremy wanted to sleep in it. I had known that was his grand plan, so I had brought one of my electric ceramic furnaces and a blanket bedroll. We spent the night in a city campground. Jeremy hardly spoke to me at all. He did curl up close to keep warm but he still managed to put distance between us.
We went to an afternoon damaged freight auction the next day after yard selling all morning. There was nothing in that kind of auction for me but Jeremy bid on a few things. Mostly cartons with no labels. It was all just a guess and a gamble. When it was all finished it appeared that he had done pretty well.
In the early evening we went to one of those metal building that held a local auction of local things held every Saturday night. I had never been to one of those things, so I went along. Those were the places were estates ended, when they were to small to have a complete auction of their own. It looked to be the combination of a dozen small household estates. I was pretty excited to see what would happen.
I bought several lots of costume jewelry and Jeremy bought a shit pot full of decorator things. We parted with some serious money. We ate dinner in one of the cookie cutter steak houses.
“Jeremy,” I said when he was seated across from me. “I wanted to apologize to you. I had no right to say those things to you.” I truly was sorry I had given my opinion. I had a feeling that it was going to cause me trouble with The Brit.
“You know Sylvia people have never spoken to me like that. My parents were disappointed in me, of course, but they encouraged me. It was to make up for their own feelings of inadequacy. Lovers always say nice things till the end comes then you dismiss what they say as bitterness. You however have only one ax to grind. You love Allen. You two can claim it’s brother sister all you want, but if he was straight you would be all over him. So you are talking to me like a family member should have. You are right I am lazy. I could have taken this year and created a large show, but I have been play lady of the manor instead. The most awful thing is I have been blaming Allen for the wonderful time I have been having. I have been acting like it was a shame to be enjoying myself. I was supposed to be making my mark in the world.” he said.
“We all thought we would be making our mark on the world, but damn few people ever do. I for one thought I would be solving homicides in some place like Chicago, but here I am a bootlegger.” I said.
“But that isn’t all you are and even if it were, it’s yours not some boyfriends thing. Don’t get me wrong I love the pub, and I think the people love me there, but it is still Allen’s pub.” he said.
“Yes I can see how much it would damage your self esteem not to have anything of your own. So if you were going to build something of your own, what would it be?” I asked.
“An art gallery of course,” he said.
“Ah an art gallery in county seat, now that would be a lonely place. On the upside you would have lots of time to create.” I pointed out. “Now on the other hand we get tons of tourist in the summer. They don’t stay in town, but they do come to see the quaint little shops. So open a quaint little shop that has a heavy art bend. Spend your days painting or making something artistic and now and then talk to someone who comes into your shop. The emphasis being your shop.”
“You know maybe that’s what I started the last time we were on the road. I’m going to do something that is for sure,” he said.
“Good for you, now we need to find a place to sleep tonight.” I said picking up the bill to pay. He looked like he was going to argue, so I reminded him, “It’s my turn.”
We spent that Saturday night huddled together in the trailer. The little ceramic furnace put out enough heat I think, but it was still nice to huddle together with someone, even if it was with Jeremy.
Sunday morning we went to breakfast without a shower because the bath house in the state park was unheated. I for one wasn’t bothered by it, but I could tell Jeremy had problems eating without his morning shower.
“Jeremy honey consider yourself lucky you could brush your teeth,” I said and laughed.
“Gee that’s disgusting to think of starting the day without brushing your teeth,” Believe it or not we both laughed.
“Trust me you do learn to carry gum, when you can find it.” I said and we both laughed again. We walked up and down the long aisles of the flea market. I couldn’t make a deal on anything and I could make jewelry as good as that being sold by the craftsmen.
One of the booths had some pretty good paintings. At least I thought they were good in a commercial sense. “So how’s business,” I asked.
“Business is great when I have any,” he said. “This is not exactly the best place for an artist,” he said.
“So what is a good place?” I asked. “I make jewelry now and then.”
“Craft fairs and festivals are much better for the crafty things. There are some festivals that are really heavy into the arts. You might try here for a list of them and descriptions of each.” he said that giving me a card on the back of which he wrote a website.
“Thanks, I appreciate it,” I said’
“Us artist types got to starve together,” he said with a laugh.