TREASURE, PART ONE
We adventured, got lost, found treasure.
My treasure is different than his, but I can spot its dim-to-me sparkle and point him in its direction. He knows that the things I seek out are usually made of metal: wrenches, hammers, pocket knives, pots and pans. I really wanted a compound bow I saw, but I’m sure it wasn’t under my self-imposed spending limit.
The spending formula is simple and doesn’t need to be flexible: no more than ten dollars for cast iron with a lid and no rust, no more than six dollars for a very large metal tool-like thing, no more than three for a pan without a lid, and no more than a dollar for a hat. Miscellaneous items like backgammon sets can reach the two dollar mark, but any purchase over five dollars requires negotiation and combination. I’ll pay six for an axe with a good handle, but only if another thing’s price drops dramatically along with it. Both for one money, music to my ears.
Simple. I’m shameless and happy to walk away, but I always do it with a smile.
His treasure is almost always very specific paper, stapled into the most delicate books, always vulnerable to temperature and time. I am awed by its ephemeral nature and I don’t pretend to understand the details. The mystery of why a thing is precious is as precious to me as the thing.
I spelled ephemeral incorrectly last night. Glad to fix that today.
We carried our precious things to the Tank and lumbered home. Previous lifetimes’ precious things still hide in the trunk, and they clanged a little on the bumps in the road. I’ll take care of finding their forever homes tomorrow.
His precious things went directly to safe places in cellophane after very careful inspection. Some sort of cataloguing happened, I think.
We took different paths on our treasure hunts, but the paths intersected nicely now and then. This day made perfect sense. The small, unexpected dip into unfamiliar places felt easy, even when we were undecided on which way was north and headed away from rather than toward home.
It was the other way, said the compass, always honest. And there wasn’t really a way to get where we were going from where we ended up, so we turned around.
Now, a more clever writer would shape a nice conclusion about the real treasure being the day, the memories of the day, the time we shared.
Yes, that. All of that. But I’m still pretty happy about this hat I got for a dollar.