gas canYou Need My Shit

by Sara Dobie Bauer

My husband suggested I keep my revolver in a little box during our garage sale just in case. It never occurred to me to be worried about people robbing my African statue that looks like it’s taking a shit.

Seven AM in Phoenix feels like living in a stove set to three-fifty. People show up and dig through piles of clothes I used to wear. Strange the things you remember, like how I once posed for a female friend’s camera in that corset with the red skull on the front.

There’s this one guy who shows up in a suit and tie. He laughs when I tell him he’s overdressed. He’s too friendly. I think about my revolver in the little shoebox at my side. Then, he goes into his Jehovah’s Witness spiel, and I think about the gun even more.

A lady walks up. She’s got one of those stomachs you’re not sure is pregnant so you sure as fuck don’t ask. She goes through my clothes, and I want to tell her, “Honey, no.” But that’s like the “when are you due?” question. I bite the inside of my mouth to stop my tongue.

When I’m alone, I stare at the shit we’ve accumulated and think it would be easier to just burn everything. I meditate on the image of dragging pile after pile into the middle of West Westview (redundant street name, I know), getting the gasoline, and tossing a lit cigarette like in the movies. 

Burn it. Burn it all.

My things will soon be other people’s things. They will acquire shit they don’t need. I mean, who needs a piggy bank shaped like a purple dinosaur? I watch them walk down my driveway with their treasures and wonder what their houses look like. Hoarders? Did I just feed an addict?

Not my problem. I am divesting myself of my shit so that other people can have more shit, and then, someday, the world will be buried in shit. The thought comes to me again: Burn it all.

It’s disappointing that by 10 AM, I haven’t sold half my things and haven’t gotten to shoot anyone. It’s time to close up shop, and I wasted so much mental energy picturing what I would do if some gangbanger tried to carry me away like the ugly candelabra I bought at TJ Maxx. I promised myself I would only shoot him in the leg. Never happened.

I’m still surrounded by shit. Only then do I notice we sold the gas can.


Sara Dobie Bauer doesn’t respect people who don’t respect prison inmates. She is desperately trying to become a minimalist but can’t seem to get rid of a shirt she bought in eighth grade that says “Black Sheep.”
%d bloggers like this: