Nathan found himself at the heel of some sort of festival or celebration happening in the trees leading to the mountain. There were hundreds of people all walking in a line. Some people were dressed in robes, others just regular clothing. Some people were holding candles, and some were tweeting.
Time passed in the woods. The air tingled with a beautiful warmth between that of South Hazelton and of Brazil. The line of casual hikers culminated in a clearing and Nathan searched through the lake of faces for the character known as Patrick. A gap in a group circle of four opened before Nate so he entered and asked them, “Excuse me. What’s going on here?”
“What you just stumbled into the woods?” answered a middle-aged man with slicked-back hair and glasses.
“I was just hiking by and heard some noise, what’s going on?” Nate asked again.
“It’s Wesak: Buddha day,” answered the single lady of the group. “As soon as the sun goes down we’ll see the full moon of spring above Mount Shasta.”
“Oh, cool,” said Nathan as he looked to the dim red glow of remaining sun in the dark blue sky. He then waded his way deep into the crowd. One way or another he would find this man.
“Hey!” an outstretched hand called from the other side of the crowd. Patrick shimmied to meet Nate right in the middle. He was far taller than Nate, with spikey black hair. “Let’s go back the way you came, aye?” Patrick bellowed above the commotion.
They walked out from all the people and toward the clearing’s edge.
“Patrick,” the man introduced with a charismatic smile, accompanied by a hand on Nate’s back and a hand to shake. Nathan shook it, feeling warm in his presence.
“Ene,” he reciprocated with a hand shake. The two made it to the edge where they found a little more privacy.
“So you know I’m gonna ask you… may I see something?” Patrick whispered. Nathan hesitated in answering. “I mean,” he retracted in lost confidence, “unless here is too exposed. Or because we just met. I completely understand.”
His voice was interesting. It was incredibly deep and calm, yet he was ecstatic in his presentation.
“No, it’s fine. I’ll, uh,” Nate pulled the barber dime out from his pocket, “use my way of showing people.” He brought the coin up to their faces.
“A barber dime- you have got to be shitting me!”
Nate’s eyebrows shot up. “Hey, look at that! Yeah, I’m surprised you know it by sight.”
“It’s a rarity.”
“Either way- doesn’t matter. What matters is what you can do with something so small.” His hand dropped mid-sentence. Patrick’s eyes widened, and the coin lowered into Nate’s open palm. It was clear his new friend was good at concealing amazement because only a mere trace of some wider smile held on his face.