Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Telltale Brick

Have I ever told you about the time Hubba-hubba and I took a mini-tour of the East Coast?

It was sometime around 1996 and I can say that I unreservedly adore the Smithsonian, Valley Forge National Monument, Salem, and the state of Maine in its entirety.  The rest, meh.  Maybe if the leaves had turned nicely, but supposedly it was a bad year for that.  Sorry all you EC'ers.  I still love YOU, though.  I'm not holding your place of residence against you.  Er, trying not to, anyway.

Which brings me to Salem, Massachusetts.  We were traveling around Halloween, as we always find that travel during October is pretty much optimal for just about everything. 

We parked at the first place we could find that didn't charge for parking, which was somewhere off the main drag and next to a dilapidated church of unknown denomination.  Maybe it was Catholic?  Anyway, we went and visited the house of the Seven Gables, wandered around the bay front, and finally towards the evening there was some sort of Halloween street fair that looked enticing.  Hey, we were tourists and didn't know anyone, what else were we supposed to do?

So we had a pretty good time in Salem, as much fun as you can have sans alcohol, as Hubba-hubba and I are not big drinkers.  Oh sure, we'll toss one back, but usually we stop at one.  This is partially due to the fact that alcohol is damn expensive, and partially to the fact that Hubba-hubba was raised in a family of alcoholics, so he would just as soon pass it up.

Whilst walking back to our rental car (it had GPS which at the time was really fancy-schmancy and to be honest, we would probably still be lost somewhere back there if we hadn't had it) I noticed that the brick-paved sidewalk was, shall we say, a bit loose.  Some of the bricks were becoming unmoored from their cement bedding, and I had this sudden harebrained urge to take one.

I was in Salem, it was Halloween, something strange came over me and I HAD TO HAVE it.

Now if you know me at all, you know that I am outraged by people cutting in line, so to steal a brick from off the sidewalk was an indication that I went slightly nuts.

Over the protestations from Hubba-hubba that I was destroying public property and possibly qualifying for vandalism charges, I pulled on the loosest brick.  I see-sawed that sucker until it came loose and I triumphantly heaved it into the backseat.

What had I hoped to accomplish with this petty theft?

I have absolutely no idea.

All I know is that Hubba-hubba peeled out of there, horrified that he was now an accessory to a crime.  He told me that the brick was from a CHURCH for God's sake and that I had took some sort of sanctified object and now I was sure to be cursed.

Then I carried it back home across state lines and Hubba-hubba was just beside himself.

That brick, to the best of my knowledge, still sits in one of the closet drawers in my old room at my parent's house.  Knowing my mother, who never throws anything away and is almost guaranteed to have a Hoarder's episode in her future, it is still there.

There are times when my life goes wrong and I think to myself, is it the brick doing this to me?  Should I get rid of it?  I thought this not too long ago when it seemed we could just not catch a break on anything.

Taking it back to Salem is not an option at this point, and the only thing I can think of to do is throw it in the ocean or something.  Not that it will find its way back to Salem or anything, but at least it won't be associated with me any longer.

Not that it will do any good, probably.  If it isn't the witches, then it's God, and I have no hope then for sure.


J at said...

Did I ever tell you about my ancestor, who died in jail in Boston, accused of being a witch in the trials? Well, she's glad you took the brick, and doing whatever she can to make one of the descendents of the accusers trip on the hole you left behind.

marvel said...

Um, it's just a brick? If it was a haunted brick wouldn't all the badness fall upon the house in which it resides? If it's just a what-goes-around-comes-around kind of thing, maybe you should just perform some small act of generosity/rebuilding to restore balance. Return a lost wallet, plant a tree in a dilapidated lot, build a house with Habitat, you know, something.

But really, it was just a brick.

Seana said...

Given that the brick was in Salem, it is *possible* that the brick was somewhat historic (in that it could be associated with the building to which the path lead). If that is the case the brick, out of context, becomes meaningless. Still, it doesn't seem right to throw it in the ocean. I say, let it collect dust in your mother's house and give it no more thought.

Anvilcloud said...

Haha. Good post. I don't know what possessed you though. Um ... perhaps I should say "possessed." lol