Imagine for a moment that you are stalking the interior of a very small junk-shop. It’s called “Astoria, Oregon”. The lighting is terrible. Many of the objects are rusted, unidentifiable, or simply trapped under tangled of netting and brambles. There are few “antiques”, in the sense of a well-cared for and valuable object. But mostly, it’s full of discarded and dismembered objects.

As you stroll through the aisles, you overhear the chatter of the owners. One is a weathered fisherman wearing an old Carhart hat. He says very little, and what he does say is mumbly. Another is a young couple both wearing headphones, staring deeply into the grooves of an LP. They also do not talk, but are rifling through an old tackle-box. You notice that it is not full of lures, but fair-trade, meatless jerky. The last is a woman in her 40’s with really nice hiking boots. Her hair is well manicured, you think to yourself, given how windy and abysmally rainy it is inside this store. You think she must be from San Francisco.

The shop is simply laid-out. Everything on the shelves on the perimeter of the store is water-logged, covered in seaweed or fisherman’s knots, or is made from driftwood. The center of the store has the nice objects. You sail from aisle to aisle and an old transistor radio hacks up a gentle sound on one of the walls. At first you think it’s just static, then it kind of sounds like traffic. Then you get real close and hear that it’s the ocean. A small gull is trapped inside the radio, however distantly.

White Noise/Traffic/Ocean/Gull

But What Does It Smell Like In There?

The store smells of saltwater, barnacles, woodfire, potsmoke.

Okay, Carry On

As you continue to fill your basket with sea-glass, craft beer, and model ships, you turn a corner and see a large hole in the floor. It’s incredibly dangerous, you think, as the wooden banister is more-or-less rotten at points. It’s deep brown and wet, except for the portions that are covered in algae, which are deep green and wet.

Inside, you hear sea-water slapping against the wooden pilings. As you step to the railing you behold couch-sized, grey, bulbous bodies laying on the rocks below and recognize them as Sea Lions. You wave at them, though they are at once cute and terrifying. They pay you no mind and bark into one another as you puzzle over what they might be saying.

Sea Lions Going Ape Under a Building


They sound ferocious, but you really have no way of knowing for sure.

“This thrift store is highly unusual.” you think to yourself. You try and recall if you’ve EVER actually seen a sea lion before.

On the way out you ask the fisherman where Goonies was filmed and he sighs, raising a strong arm toward the back.

“O’er there.”

You leave the store and reflect that for so tiny a space, there sure is a lot of weird, unrelated stuff crammed in there.

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