“Rise and shine honey.”
“Oh, not this again.”
“Yes honey. It’s time to get up.”
“Can I please just sleep late for once in my life?”
“You have to get up. Your father has a surprise for you.”
“What could he possibly have for me?”
“It has to do with you making money.”
“I’m up. I’m up already.”
The prospect of making and spending money has always been very interesting to me. The whole process – from doing something that requires work, trading that work in for money and then trading that money for stuff. I love it and when it’s broken down – broken down much more than above, it’s frustratingly magical. It’s also unique because not many people understand the process. Really understand it.
But that’s not important right now. What is important is what my mother was talking about that morning as she was trying to get me out of bed. Out of bed just one week after I had the conversation with the old man. The conversation that quickly put me in my place and the conversation I kept secret from everyone. Everyone, especially from my father. I kept that conversation more secret than I had ever kept anything else in my life. I’ll tell you why too – because that conversation had deflated me. It was like one minute I was a kid hiking through some really cool woods and the next minute I was a kid walking through a dirt parking lot I never wanted to see again. A dirt parking lot owned by a man I really, really never wanted to see again.
The thing is, I didn’t want there to be an issue between the old man and my father. My father really enjoyed going over to that land and working on it. I think it was therapeutic for him. I didn’t want my father to feel weird going over there knowing that his children were causing the old man problems. I know he wasn’t the kind of guy who wanted to worry about that kind of stuff. All my father ever wanted to do was to work on projects that allowed him to use his trucks and his big equipment. It wasn’t much to ask.
So I stayed quiet. I stayed quiet and tried to avoid anything that had to do with that old man or his land.
“Mom said you wanted to talk to me.”
“Yeah. You are going to rake some leaves today.”
“Am I getting paid?”
“You’ll find out after you rake the leaves.”
“Well, how many leaves do I have to rake?”
“You’ll see when you get there.”
“Don’t worry about it. Go get ready.”