1. Garage sale creeper
Summer after fifth grade, around the end of June, I went garage saling with my mom and grandma in the neighboring town. Had a lot of good buys.
The last place we hit up was a housing addition the edge of town, where a lot of old people and empty-nesters lived. It was kind of boring, but I thought I would poke around just in case. My mom and gran let me go ahead of them while they browsed, so I went up to the next house.
It looked pretty normal. I mean, it looked the same as every other house in the addition. Maybe not as many frills, but nothing out of place really. There wasn’t a sign in the yard but the garage door was open and there were tables out. A guy was sitting in a lawn chair at the back of garage. So, legit, I suppose. I went in.
There wasn’t a lot of selection. And old coffee maker, throw pillows. There was a rack of plus-size womens’ clothing and shoes. No men’s clothes or shoes. Anything that suggested a man lived there.
The man at the back of the garage sat there smiling the whole time. He was maybe in his late 30s/early 40s, moustache, bald at the top and had a fringe of brown hair that tapered down his neck. He wore a wolf t-shirt and denim cut-offs. He kept crossing and un-crossing his very hairy legs, like with rhythm, and kind of swinging them.
Beneath another table was a huge box of naked Barbies priced .50 cents a piece. I bent down to inspect them. First of all, the Barbies’ hair was sticky and crusty. Like someone put glue in them. Second of all, they smelt terrible. Like rotten or something, body odor, just inconceivably foul.
I was pulling away when the man in the back of the garage started asking me questions, like how old was I, where did I go to school. He asked me if I liked the Barbies.
Not really interested, I said.
He started talking about his cockerspaniel named Spiffy or something and then let the dog out when it started scratching on the garage door. It started growling at him, like snarling, and it ran around to the back of the house. By then I decided I was done here. He hadn’t really done anything, but he gave me the creeps.
Leaving already? He sounded disappointed.
I told him to have a nice day.
Ran off to my mom and gran, but I didn’t tell my mom about the creeper. I just told her he had a crap selection. Nothing she would like anyway.
A week or so later we saw on the news a man broke into a woman’s house, tried on all her clothes, molested her daughter. . .and hosted a garage sale at their house, at that housing addition.