On a muggy afternoon, just after a summer rain shower, Michael is fortunate to have a large canopy tent to keep himself and his goods dry. Still, folks don't seem to be stopping at his stand, Headhunter African Jewels II, on West Preston Street, near the Metro entrance.

"People say, 'I don't got no money,' [or] 'I don't get paid until next week.' . . . Bullshit," he says.

On a good day, Michael can sell about $1,000 worth of of the tent's African dresses, jewelry, and handbags, which means $200-$250 for himself. While being an African-dress peddler can be a difficult gig, it's also got its upside for a mid-20s male: Michael tells us he needs to get back to flirting some more before he can knock off around 6 or 7 P.M.

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