When I speak to Dave on the phone the first time, he tells me his father died from cancer, that what he’s selling is part of his Dad’s huge collection of vintage stereo equipment. I’m sitting in the parking lot of an animal hospital in Northern Virginia, where I’ve just dropped off my dog Swayze for palliative radiation for her own cancer.
I tell him I’m sorry to hear it.
“He didn’t do anything but sit in a chair for two years while they kept him alive. He’s better off dead,” Dave says. “He was 82. He lived his life.”
I’d driven to Virginia from Maryland’s Eastern Shore where my wife, Susan, and I live and was trying to arrange a time to visit Dave back in Maryland so I could look at a few things he was selling on Craigslist: two reel-to-reel tape players and a vintage 200 watt Kenwood receiver, all listed far below their value. I’d buy the stuff from him, and then sell it at market value on eBay. The money would help pay for Swayze’s chemotherapy. I didn’t want Dave to know that though.