Fool’s Gold


She didn’t want to remember the time 100 people signed a petition against me for being a witch when I was only in the fourth grade. Years of abuse was my normal life but people will only recall that I was a loser and a fool…

…so it is?

Yet way back before Time began there was a place. Today I was there for a nano-particle of a wave on the shores of the Universe. In a tiny place full of oddities and strange dragons and very very small gnomes sitting upon carpets of moss was a table of things for sale. As I approached the table, holding tightly to the staff of wisdom I have earned, with short and wobbly gait and a breath of eternity passed over me and I heard the laughter of the fields…

…now built over with homes.

It has been decades since the day I last had that breath upon me.

She and I would shortly start to discuss the fact that God is the only reason we are even still here as a species. How we don’t see reality even when we think we do. How we can say one thing with surety in one sentence and contradict that very same thing in another sentence and yet in between being the guardian and the philosopher I was a child and the sun was not too hot nor the breeze too strong and magic filled it enough for me to know that we are only temporary in these bags of flesh and the tiny, silver trays that once belonged to a now-scattered tea set would have, in times gone, held more riches than human eyes can see and I saw them all for that tiny slice of time.

I was going to buy the little silver tray but first I wanted to go inside the “crooked little house with the crooked little mouse” and see if a crooked little man lived there who was friends with the dragons. Slowly, painfully I pushed my way up the two steps in the crab-fashion I have adopted for these situations and opened the crooked door.

It was full of moss and terrariums and small miniatures of all a person would need for a fearie garden and on one table laid the bones of my homeland: Jasper, Quartz, Peacock Copper, Rose-rock, Trilobites, Agate and ‘Fool’s Gold.’ Papa started to laugh silently. I knew then that buying anything here would not buy me back that moment but only the memory of the moment but, Papa said it was OK to buy something to recall the moment with. I chose Iron Pyrite.

I held the gold in my hand and closed my eyes and the days flooded back. The days when no one ran the A/C in the Summer and the world outside was all there was to live in and way hot sun smelled on new blacktop and the way a grape Popsicle tasted near the loud and crowded pool at Sulphur Springs. The day I bent over and saw the glint of sun nestled in the ever-shifting red-lands and how I pried it loose from the bosom of the Land and held a piece of sunlight in my hand and knew I was going to be rich and…

…I ran, like the ‘wind the sweeps down the plains’, with a handful of GOLD!

Papa was in the garage and the hum of his rock-tumbler was going and I tugged at his red over-alls and screamed happily!

“GOLD! Papa GOLD! GOLD!”

I opened my hand. He took the Gold nugget in his hand and threw back his head and laughed and laughed. All white white teeth and black black hair smiling and laughing. When he stopped he said,

“Let me show you something. These are all rocks from this region…”

He began to teach me all about the rocks from where we lived. I started to collect rocks. I learned that what I had found was not real gold but fools gold and I went back to the place where I got it to dig for more of it and I found Feldspar and peeled it apart and saw the small crystals that were like what sheet glass could have been in Thumbelina’s Castle. All of this happened in less than a nanosecond. A whole day passed while Papa and I laughed in the crooked house with the crooked door at the Gold of Fools…because he taught me something more that day: Even if it had been real gold it still would have been nothing in the vast spans of time that are compressed in eternity.

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