The following days I was so depressed that I did not dare to enter any charity shop. If I saw a person walking the street dressed in a green trench coat or a jacket with a dark beret on his head, my heart would start racing uncontrollably and I sweated heavily. I tried to calm down and told myself that I should not care about someone who shows his greed openly. The whole world is full of them; from the chief executives who get a bonus of millions to the politicians who earn huge amounts of money for a single lecture. This odd fellow was just a little drop in the ocean of greediness and it was only by chance that I met him. In every town and city all over the world there were persons who had the same character traits and people do not bother to think about them. Why should I spend my precious energy on him?
After some weeks I could not resist my old love for books and I decided to visit a charity shop again. This time I was there before ten in the morning hopping I would be alone, but when I arrived there were about a dozen persons already eagerly awaiting the door to open. Some of them looked like as if they had not washed for years and the others as if they had been discharged from a sanatorium with the incurable case of tuberculosis.
To my horror, I saw the greedy man again and my heart sank to the bottom of the deepest sea. I knew before the door even opened I was without any chance. They would rush inside like a pack of hungry wolves and fight against each other for the new arrivals.
When the door opened, I was the last to come inside and I had already lost desire for books. Instead, I watched my fellow humans behaving like vultures scavenging among the works of the human mind. I noticed that there were some persons who behaved like the greedy man but none of them could compete with him. They were amateurs and he a fully fledged professional who knew on which table stood the most interesting books.
Again, I left and walked the streets with my heart filled with sorrow. Actually, he had not been doing anything wrong. He behaved according to the ethics of the modern capitalism which encourages competition. Only those who are unscrupulous and pushy would survive and the others are doomed to live day to day. I was observing him from a religious point of view which see avarice as a sin, however, I had forgotten that Sweden was a country were IKEA stores had replaced churches and that Swedish prophets were neither Jesus nor Muhammed but SAAB, Volvo and Bofors cannons. Who was I to condemn him when my own people slaughter each other in a meaningless war?
One Saturday morning I took a stroll along the river and just when I believed I would be spared to see him again, suddenly I saw his green trench coat at the place where second-hand booksellers use to sell their books. I was curious to see what kind of books he was selling and for what a price and when I came up he was cheerfully talking with the customers.
In front of him on the stalls and on the ground there were about twenty cardboard boxes filled with all kind of books. Some of them I had recognized from the charity shops which he just took before I had a chance to look at them properly. Now their price was ten times and even more from the previous price and I felt anger boiling inside me again.
To be continued...
He is always around you.
What will happen next?