Friday, August 27, 2010

Evan "Relic" Hunter

This morning, I woke up and went downstairs to find my friend Sara and my mother having a chat on the porch. Ever since I can remember, my mom has risen at some ungodly hour, say, 5:30, and started funneling coffee. By the time I wake up, she has developed an entire monologue to bombard me with as I try to rub the sleep out of my eyes. I've learned to accept this, but sometimes I worry that my friends won't be prepared for it. Their heads might explode from the overload of information that comes spewing out of her mouth like water from a run-over fire-hydrant.

This morning it was the nature walk she was riled up about. Last year when we came up here to visit, she guided us up a steep hill behind their house to what she claimed was either an Indian burial ground (Pet Sematary?) or civil war camp. I was looking at the ground to make sure I didn't step on any loose rocks or snakes, when I noticed a dingy old piece of metal lying on the ground. I picked it up out of curiosity, and when my mother saw what I was holding she almost had a seizure.

"You found a relic!" She exclaimed. I looked over the object I was holding, which appeared to be some kind of tarnished paper weight. "Let me see!" She said, and sauntered up the hill toward me, her eyes wide with excitement.

"It looks like it came from Pier 1, mom," I said. I didn't want to burst her bubble, but at the same time I didn't want to carry this rusty piece of garbage with me for the rest of the hike and risk getting tetanus. I tried to find "made in China" engraved on it somewhere, but I couldn't.

A few minutes after I'd found it, I casually let it slip out of my fingers and fall to the ground. When we got back to the house, my mother asked me about it and made me give her an estimate of where I had I dropped it.

When we got in at around 11 last night, one of the first things she said was "Look up on the mantle." There it was. She had gone back, probably with one of her metal detectors, and recovered her beloved relic. She even mounted a candle on it.

This morning my friends and I were sitting on the front porch drinking our coffee when my mother emerged from the house with two walking sticks. She set them down against the railing, and said "It's seventy degrees now, going to be seventy-five soon..."

"Hint, hint." I said to my friends. She was chomping at the bit to get us out in the woods. She's told me before that I have great eyes, and that ever since I was a little kid I've been good at finding things. I think that she believes one of these days I will find her a valuable artifact that will be her big break.

As we made our way up one of the hills, I noticed an old car battery. "Look, mom, a relic!" I said.

"I need somewhere to sit down," she said, unamused. She had been walking up the hill with two walking sticks, and looked like one of those long-long legged rabbit creatures from The Dark Crystal.

"Why don't you sit on the car battery?" I asked her.

"She'd get a real charge out of that," said my father, king of the puns.

That was the only real discovery I made today. Maybe next year I will find her a frying pan from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that she can mount somewhere in her kitchen.

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