selling my life on marketplace

This post was originally written in the days before leaving Australia, on 16 February 2022.

One of the most wild parts of moving to Mexico was in selling all of my belongings.

People are buying them, sure, but that means for every mother fucking item I want to sell for a measly $20, I have to enter blindly into an interaction with a stranger in The Era of COVID.

One of the biggest reasons we chose Mexico as a destination is because it’s a relatively lawless location and so many places in Mexico are living as if COVID doesn’t exist.

So I’m heading to Mexico in the middle of COVID era where it’s still very much a relevant topic here in Australia since they have been relatively “strict” with their rules. And by “strict”, I mean it in the most Australian way possible where everyone is too polite to cause a scene.

Still, there are lots of people who are “fighting the good fight”, as one man put it when he came to buy my juicer.

“Ah, Mexico. You’ll love it there. I’m choosing to stay, though,” he reassured us, as if we were concerned. We smiled and nodded.

“I don’t want to run away from my problems. I want to stay and stand for something.” He lifted his chin ever so slightly, as if to imply he were admitting a noble secret.

More smiling and more nodding.

What did it matter that we were really leaving because we are lazy and we don’t want to work so much to afford to live in a place like this. We are so lazy that we chose the country with the least amount of requirements to get into it.

Our biggest regret about going to Mexico is that our connection is in the US, where a COVID test is required to pass through the country, which was a whole other kind of adventure to get.

He continued to tell us that he was buying the juicer so that he could follow the protocol of the “Medical Medium”, a man who says he “downloads” the nutritional value of all things and so can know what is truly healthy for the human body.

His recommendation? Drink straight celery juice.

“Oh, I’ve heard of him!” I exclaimed with a big smile that held back laughter. Here I was, face to face with someone who believed in this and was in so much anguish that he felt that freely hiding out in Australia was “fighting the good fight”.

And he was from England, anyway, so his comment on “running away” felt a little like projection.

Another man came to visit and he had an equally strong feeling about all of the COVID mayhem.

At least, that’s what my partner told me. He’s the one who sold our camping stove to him and then immediately came to me in my office.

He walked into the doorway and smiled, then held a wad of cash in the air.

“It went well?” I asked. He smiled and nodded, only his eyes looked like they might burst if I waited one more second to ask him what happened.

“What happened?”

“Apparently we’re about to go into Marshall Law and so we won’t be able to get to Mexico. He says it’s all ending.” The words fell out of his mouth, as if they didn’t stand on their own without any meaning behind them.

I stared at him. “What?”

Then he broke down the entire conversation with an apparent paranoid man who is convinced that we are about 3 weeks away from Shit Hitting The Fan.

It reminds me of our friend who spends a lot of time on acid in his van. He is also extremely concerned that the government has finally done it, finally found a way to kill everyone.

This coming from a man who told us about how “beautiful” it was when a man unexpectedly died while dancing at a bush doof, an unofficial outdoor festival where hippies go to take drugs and dance to loud music.

It was beautiful because once everyone around him had realized the he had OD’d and was lying dead on the floor, they alerted the organizers. The organizers then held a moment of silence and “it was the most beautifully connected moment, man.”

And now, today, is the final straw. The final straw that has sat me down to write this to you. Not because I’m upset but because I once heard a podcast with David Sedaris, one of my favorite comedy writers, and he said something that felt extremely relatable.

The podcast host had asked him if he ever gets annoyed or mad at people and David said no. He said that he loves strange characters because then he can write about them.

And that’s how I feel about these weirdos who are buying my shit and coming into my home.

And the interaction I had today is the one that made me say, alright, it’s time. It’s time to write this.

You see, a young family came to buy my air fryer. The couple was slightly older than us, possibly in their late 30s. Their kids were probably 3-4 and 1? I don’t know. Ages and numbers are not something I have a relative concept of.

But they were young and the toddler was incorrigible.

The last thing he said to us from his car seat was “I hope you have a bad time in Mexico.”

I’m not even kidding.

Since we’re selling everything and cleaning the house out, our home is pretty chaotic. There is stuff everywhere. Shelves undone, drawers unfilled, and little things here and there that need somewhere to go.

And this little devil child tore his way through it all.

His parents practiced a real “hands off” style of parenting and everything he did screamed “hands ON please”.

And look, I’ve never had a kid so I have NO idea what it’s like. But every time I have the tiniest glimpse of what it’s like, it looks like hell. So I sympathize with parents of young children.

But this in no way changes the fact that I was absolutely shook after this child left.

He took our seed packets with flower seeds I was just about to toss into the garden before they rocked up and threw them all over the floor. He took the bowl of dried beans where I burn my incense and smeared the ash all over the white cabinets that belong to our landlord.

He grabbed my partner’s sunglasses and looked me dead in the eye when he threw them straight to the ground. He sat himself on one of our skateboards and rolled around our (rented) hardwood floors, aiming for my toes. When I faked him out and jumped over his head, he got upset and rammed the skateboard into my feet.

His parents talked over it all.

His dad talked about all of the online businesses he could have like us and how his buddy is doing business deals with Elon Musk. The kid’s mom talked at the same time as his dad about how she loves my plants and thinks that they would go perfectly in her office.

The one year old strummed the strings on my partner’s guitar.

I quickly slipped to the other side of the island in the kitchen, putting a solid barrier between this devil child and my toes.

He snuck his way over to me and started to charge at me. At the last minute, I swayed to the left and tucked my hands behind me, catching his face as he ran past where he thought my body would be.

“Oh, gotcha!” I exclaimed, thinking this little guy just needed a friend. I innocently played with him, feeling him pull on my heart strings as he demanded our attention.

Then I felt his grubby little hands clasp onto one of my hands behind my back. I laughed and leaned into him. His mother abandoned her ramble and jumped forward, whispering “no!”.

Then I felt it. I felt his teeth sink into my skin.

I pulled my hand upward awkwardly, my range of motion restricted by the fact that my hands were behind my back. And this child had a strange amount of strength as he pulled my hand back down.

I felt the hair on the top of his head tickle my wrist and his teeth searched for another place to bite. I pulled up hard, scared I would hurt him. Then I took my other hand and shoved his head backward and away from me.

The mom started talking again and my partner smiled and nodded as the dad told my partner about how he used to travel a lot too.

I stepped away from the boy and closer to my partner, quietly seeking comfort through proximity. Then, the little boy grabbed something and ran straight toward the open wall that faces our front garden. The garden is overgrown, thanks to all of the recent summer rain, and is filled with plants. It sits about 3 feet below the house, which is held up by a rock wall barrier.

The boy stood on the edge of the wall and held the thing he had grabbed (whatever it was, it’s all a blur at this point) over the overgrown garden and stared back at us, daring us to object. “What if I dropped this??” he yelled. “Then you’ll have to get it,” I said with a laugh, knowing how buggy it is down there.

He dropped it.

His dad stood up and walked straight over to him. He grabbed him by the hand and lowered him into the overgrown plants. The boy screamed bloody murder.

The dad looked back at us and said, “I’m trying to teach him a lesson.”

Smiling and nodding.

After an agonizing 5 seconds, the boy climbed out of the plants, up the wall, and around the backside of the house. He snuck back in through the kitchen and hid behind his mom.

She soothed him and continued to talk about the plants.

They lowballed me on the air fryer but honestly I didn’t even care, I just wanted them out of my house.

We carried the air fryer to their car and waited while they found a spot to put it. The devil child jumped into the driver’s seat and pushed onto the horn with his feet while he pushed against the chair with his hands.

The horn was screaming and my partner and I are smiling and nodding as the boy’s dad tells us that he’s surprised we haven’t heard of some motivational speaker that lives in the Gold Coast.

We waved goodbye as they pulled out of the driveaway and the boy said out the window, “I hope you have a bad time in Mexico.”

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