Huntkerchief

by Nic Olson

Holidays are abridged versions of real life. Religious or not, one must understand that holidays were originally holidays because, a long time ago, people actually held their religions as a large part of their lives. Holy days became holidays, holidays became synonymous with weekends, weekends became synonymous with Teacher Conference Days. And now as a society, we don’t generally identify with anything. Holidays are our new religions. All Hail May Long.

I consider myself like any good character of a dramatic primetime soap opera, in that I always make an effort to include my readership in my holiday processes, which typically ends up a few paragraphs about commercialization and how we are all going to die soon. I went on an Easter egg hunt this morning at 9:30am. Last night, somewhere between the escalator in the metro and my apartment on Cazelais Street, I lost my red, polkadot handkerchief. This may sound like a minor problem, but this hanky has been part of my back pocket family for nearly ten years, nor do you understand my overall snot problems since my new nose was put on. So this morning, like a sugar-addicted child searching for his next fix, I sulked the grey streets looking for a blood red hanky to catch my eye.

Nope. Chip bag.
What is that across the street? A pop bottle lid.
Ah yes! There it is, on the sewer grate. Oh wait, that is just an onion mesh.

If only a designated adult had taken my hanky from me, hid it unsuspectingly so that when I couldn’t find it, he or she could tell me where he put it. Searching for something that no one else has found isn’t easy. You have no reference. But the reward when you find it is possibly better than a snot filled handkerchief.

And when you can’t find something that you lost, or that someone hid from you, you replace it with something else. Can’t find God, so replace it with hockey. Can’t find the keys, so replace them with a sledgehammer. Can’t find the hanky, so replace it with your sleeve. Can’t find the answer, move on to the next question. Can’t find the proper phrase for your paragraph, replace it with something outright barbarous.

We did an easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday at a friend’s house five years ago, and I found a plastic egg that was left hidden from the year before. I didn’t win any special prize, all I got was more dust and older chocolate than everyone else. I think this alarmed my friend’s mother that she wasn’t running quite the clean home that she thought she was. I think you must take notice when you find something that you weren’t looking for in the first place. Either it was looking for you, or you were originally looking for the wrong thing.

Once I reached a point of hopelessness, the unfindable egg/hanky, I imagined arriving home with it tied to the doorknob at the front door of the apartment. I would embrace it by blowing full force into its red-dyed design and I wouldn’t even question how it got there, because that is where it was supposed to end up anyway.

In youth, everything is a search. Some make it seem like you should find everything and stop searching when you reach adulthood. I don’t know if I’m still in childhood or now in adulthood, but I will be looking for that hanky until I die.

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