By: Basilia Gomez
Collecting antiques is much different than being a hoarder. Some antiques can fall under categories like jewelry, paintings; oil lamps that look like the Egyptians have passed down from generations to the modern world. Hoping that they will be treasured and cared for as much as their booby traps did, my mother for sure knew what’s real and isn’t. Hoarding is just a big pile of trash and she gets offended when anyone calls her lamps trash. “Next Wednesday there’s going to be another auction, you want to go?”
“I don’t have any money.”
“You see that’s your problem, you never have any money. Here’s thirty dollars, now you want to go?” I figured one day without civil disobedience would leave me at peace. “Fine, I’ll go but no bull shit mom!”
“Let’s go I want a good seat.” Knowing she would need her reading glasses, our casual wear was nothing to the retirement suits.
“The first bid! A three Piece French Antique Metal and Slate Victorian Clock Set, Clock by Bruneau, measuring twenty one inches tall, starting at seven hundred dollars!” Well, my thirty dollars would be used for gas money. The way bidders were raising their hands, shifting in their seats, I became a little scared. My mom broke her ankle in three places a few years ago, she can’t shift like that.
“Yeahh!” The repeated yells sounded like seagulls eyeing their fish. Two hours passed and we head home and better off empty handed. My mother bought two glass jars that can be used for quill pens. I still walk away with thirty dollars.
We pull up on our driveway and my ninety pound pit bull seems more anxious that I’m home rather than what’s in my mom’s brown paper bag. “Tania, I missed you! Who’s my grandma?” Her eight year old hind legs don’t even seem a year older than we first got her. Her first weigh in at the vet was five pounds, when her head was too big for her body. “Come on Ta Ta, who’s hungry?”
“Basilia, help me clean the glass cabinet, I need to make space for the jars!”
“Mom! Why are you yelling? I’m right here.”
“You’re not listening! Come clean this fucking cabinet now!”
“I’m not your dog!”
“Yeah well I feel sorry for you. If you were my dog I’ll have a tight leash and at least I’ll have some control over you.”
“Bitch.” I make my way to the yard, Tania loves the summer and just like any other human being, who doesn’t love eating outside in nice weather? I tried to pull the hose that seemed to be tangled all the way to the spigot. “Twenty-five feet and it’s nowhere near Tania’s bucket? Piece of shit hose.” I take Tania’s baby bucket and walk over to the spigot and yank the hose loose. As I was waiting for the bucket to drown I hear Tania barking hysterically. A bark so fierce that I thought some one was trying to hop over the backyard fence to break in the garage. Except for one thing, the bark was coming from inside the house. I slowly make my way back around the corner and I hear a screech from my mother followed by glass breaking. I run inside the house with a wooden bat in my hand to witness my mother laying on her back with the cabinet inches from her feet. Tania squeezed her way out from under the step stool my mom found in an alley. “What happened?!”
“Tania was barking at me the whole time I was moving the stool to the cabinet and I fell! I want this dog gone! I had enough!”
“It’s not like she pushed you, she probably knew the cabinet was going to fall.” I folded the step stool and Tania started her angry barks once again, this time at me. “Tania, shut up! What is wrong with you?” I take the step stool to the kitchen to reach the top shelf where the band aids were hidden. I get on the step stool and right before my eyes the stool collapses. I saw the top of the counter and now I was staring at half of the ceiling while the other half I was looking up into Tania’s nostrils. Licking my face, pushing my back as I tried my best to get back up, I heard my mother again. “You see, I want that dog gone!”
“Mom! Shut the fuck up, she didn’t want me to use the stool because the screws at the bottom were loose. Two screws are even missing, calm the fuck down!” Our screams turned into pain, and her barks turned into whines. “Tania, I’m ok.” I was petting her head and kissing her nose that was dry and the smell of dog food was missing. “You’re hungry, come on let’s go eat.
I make my way out to finally feed her but Tania was missing. “Tania you have water now. Come eat.” Whines and cries coming from my back door. Tania limps her way towards my knees and her eyes start to water. “Tania what’s wrong? Can you sit?” She sat. “Can you lie?” She lay. “Shake my hand.” I open my palm and I reach down and she whines. It was hard to tell which paw it was at first, I was being distracted from the glass being thrown away boxes at a time in the garbage bins. I grab her right paw slowly starting from her elbow, and from there on I felt warm blood, my hand turned sticky and her eyes grew wet. I called our vet Will and he was making his way as quickly as he could. But that wasn’t soon enough. I opened her paw and there was the thick piece of glass, standing straight up not giving a damn. I place her paw between my legs and I pulled the glass out. Opening the bandage box I take out and pour the hydro peroxide. Her fast blinks told me it stung. I dabbed slowly with gauze and I wrapped the wound until Will arrived. The sun went away and I hear my mother. “Hey Will, she’s outside with the dog.” Will breaks through the backdoor to be at Tania’s service taking a knee. “Thanks, Chila, you can let go now.” I watched as he stitched the black paw back together and held Tania as she turned away at the site of the pain. “Good girl, Tania! She’s all good now, here’s yucky gel so she won’t bite her cast off. And these are pain pills; give them to her in her food in the morning and before she sleeps.”
“It’s that damn jar my mom bought, I told her it was a piece of shit. Thanks Will, for everything.” He lifts my ninety pound teddy bear and places her in her bed, I thank Will one more time for helping Tania out. My mother decides to break the silence, “Basilia! I need you to mop over here now.”
“Did Tania’s blood get on the floor?”
“No, I spilled salsa on the floor and I need you to mop.” I saw Will packing his doggy first aid kit in his truck from the end of my drive way. I ran out the door, “Will!” He gives me a look, the look that says there’s no way in hell I wrapped the cast wrong.
“Thirty dollars, I owe you.”
“Chila, you know I don’t charge for you guys.”
“You came right from work, and I know it’s hard to go out of your way to come all the way out here.” My mother comes outside and breaks the middle of our conversation. “Basilia, I need you to mop the kitchen now!” She paces back inside with her chin high.
“Chila, what am I going to use the money for?”
He gets in his truck, trying to calm the stutter of his heavy engine.
“Use it for gas.” Will takes the money and gives me a thankful smile.
“Call me and let me know when Tania’s sleeping. If she’s going to need anything else ill come back.”
“For sure.” I walked quickly through the kitchen avoiding the spicy and sticky floor down to the basement to Tania’s room. There she watched me come along her bedside. I gave her a kiss and she peacefully went to sleep.