I need hinges for a door so I thought I would go to the one place I know I can get them cheap. Value Village. No, not Canadian Tire or Rona or any other hardware store where yes, I can get them new but not likely for the $1.99 that Value Village charges for miscellaneous household hardware.
So I swung by the VV and went straight to the guy in the red bib. He directed me to two places in the store. I looked and looked....then I looked some more, to no avail. No second-hand hinges. I was disappointed.
On my way out I saw a stand covered with keychains and costume jewelry so I decided to take a peek. There were City of Kingston medallions on keychains and various initials that were once "gold tone" but are now showing their true nickel colouring. There was a large, plastic yin and yang symbol done in colourful daisies, and a heavy stainless steel disk with Colette engraved on it and the year 1992. Apparently Colette did something pretty wonderful in 1992, perhaps she got her first car and this keychain was given to her to hold the keys. I wondered why Colette would give away something so meaningful and then a sudden, morbid thought struck me. Perhaps Colette died in a car accident. Awful thought, I know, but it came anyway.
As I was moving away from the thought provoking turnstile of semi-shiny second-hand bobbles my eyes were drawn down to knee level and I saw the saviour of the Rebels, enemy of the Empire, Luke Skywalker. He was mature, with long hair and stood about four inches tall. Or he would have if he'd had legs. His brown robes fell from his shoulders, wrapping around an empty space where two legs should have been, perhaps with shiny, black boots on the feet. But this Luke Skywalker had no legs. There was no jagged plastic where a dog may have bitten them off. Nor was there a peg (or hole) where legs might have popped on like a Lego piece. Nope, there was simply a flat end to his lower body just below the crotch.
I was taken aback. I kind of wanted him, if for no other reason than to save him from the humiliation of children's cruel comments about his disability. I picked him up, sliding his key loop off the hanger. He had a pretty good face, painted well enough to see his eyes and lips clearly, not just blobs of paint in roughly the right locale. His hair was blonder and curlier than the real Luke. And his face was thinner. But it was unquestionably Luke Skywalker, Jedi wanna-be.
I looked around and saw no other Star Wars figurines with a short chain protruding from their backs. Luke was alone and he was original, given he was only half the man he used to be. I looked at his price. He was marked one dollar. I knew I had a dollar in my purse and enough pennies to cover the taxes. I toyed with the idea of hanging him from my rear view mirror but then, just as quickly, came the realization that I would constantly be reminded of his shortcomings and right behind it would be the question of why Colette doesn't have her keychain any longer.
But then I had an epiphany. This WAS Luke, just as he was at the point when he lost his legs in the liquid fire while he battled Master Kenobi. Is it possible that this Luke was part of a series of Lukes, pre-fight, post-fight (the one I held in my hands) and then after his transformation into Darth Vader. This explained why he had no legs and did not seem to have any way to attach legs.
As I put him back, a distant deep voice in my head said, "These aren't the 'droids you're looking for." I smiled and walked away on my two good legs. Bye Luke, perhaps someone else will recognize who you are and will want to have you hanging from their mirror. It won't be Colette and it won't be me. You have no legs.