Checking out pawn shops
In the pawn shop, there was a woman standing at the jewelry counter in animated discussion. Her long blonde hair tended to hide her face from the side, but when one saw it she was very pretty. She was dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt, with some sort of jacket. At her feet was a baby stroller, with an infant in it. She was toying with little gold chains, trinkets, and rings. “Could you fix this chain?” she said. “I got into a fight with another chick last night and it was torn. “How much is this ring worth? Somebody gave it to me for Cristmas. “A woman gave all of us trinkets like this for Christmas. “Could you swap this chain for another one? Do you think this one is strong enough to hold all my charms?” “Did you walk here?” the man behind the counter asked, looking at the baby stroller. “No, I just put her in there because she is heavy for me to hold.” Some sort of game was going on here, but I did not have enough interest to figure it out. Perhaps she was into fencing jewelry or simply was interested in the gentleman behind the counter, but something was weird. I was in there for more than a quarter hour and the jewelry barter was nonstop. There was a good little lens I looked at, the brand with the adaptable mount that will fit any 35mm camera. I did not need it, but liked it well enough. He said the price was $65, but I’ll let you have it for $60. I was considering offering $50, but told him that if I decided I wanted it I would be back. The front lens element was heavily smeared with fingerprints. If fresh they will come off. Old prints are nonremoveable in their entirety, however, because the acid from the skin oils etch themselves in the lens coating. At another pawn shop, somwhat more dalapidated, with an absolutely gorgeous brunette behind the counter. The parking lot was sand, and there was a Jaguar parked outside, whose condition was unfortunately a little rough around the edges, but still it was okay. (When asked she said it was her mother’s.) Rather startled to see her, actually. There was not much there of interest; a rather forlorn assortment of stuff, although surely there were some gems somewhere. Maybe it only seemed that way to me, because I was looking for lenses and cameras, in a lackadaisical, investigative way. These pawn shops and hangers-on have a curious sort of intrigue, though: part of the economy, that you don’t always see. The third and last pawn shop of the day (it was time to get out before the traffic began building in Orlando). Large building with multistory fortress-type wings entending left and right. Much smaller but still large central part is the pawn shop. Big crowd inside. Hundreds of CDs for $5.00 apiece. Varied Clientele. Some guys who stick together and talk like gang members are checking out the weaponry with ominous intent. I go over to the weapon case and check myself. No Berretta 25 or 32. Figure something like that would fit better in a pocket than my Walther PPK/S. Protection, you understand, is occasionally useful. This shop is without doubt a circus. A lot of great musical equipment and good tools here. Tools seem to be common in all the shops. Plus the time-warp of stuff abandoned because of a tendency towards obsolesence, perhaps.