We have a dinner of camarão in curry and natas sauce with Basmati rice. Ana is a great chef, but she warns Dad that he had better start pulling his weight by cooking a few meals a week. Lucky for him, I quickly volunteer. I learned how to cook from Trevor, my older brother. He was in Katimavik, a Canadian program to help young adults become more self-sufficient and be active volunteers in their communities. The program had a positive impact on Trevor and I want to go once I’m his age. Tomorrow, I say I will make Peter’s famous wraps.
After dinner, Dad and I head up to his office, or as I call it, the fossil room. I bring my new “special” glasses. The office has a fold up computer desk with ship models along the top in the left corner facing the door. To the right of the desk is a large window with a view of the lagoon. On the other side of the desk is a closet. Across from the closet is a futon with a painting on the wall above it. I anxiously pull open the sliding closet door to check out a shelf loaded with fossils.
I see several trilobites, a pair of 150 million year-old Lycoptera fish from China, and a fossil of a 70 million year-old smelt fish. There’s an ashtray with an Orthoceras, a straight shelled squid. Dad says his favourite is the large Orthoceras I found three years ago on the south bank of the Ottawa River not far from where Ana and Dad lived. The Moleanos stone in this house has many specimens of Orthoceras. I handle every fossil on the shelf.
It’s interesting because my Orthocera is from the Devonian Period, so 450 million years-old and the Moleanos stone in Portugal, is from the Jurassic Period, so the fossils are 200 million years-old. I love Moleanos. It’s as if a fossil collection is built into your house!
My dad lifts the glasses to put them on.
I say, “Me first. We still have them because of me. You were going to hand them over to the Polícia imposters.”
He grins as he hands them over to me.
“Your fossils have aura to them. The least is the ‘Bondo bug’ you bought when I was last here,” I say.
“Yes, I was ripped-off. We drove back to Sagres from Lagos because I thought I was missing a bargain for a big fossil trilobite. I paid eighty Euros for that thing. It’s mostly putty. Can I see?”
I pass the glasses to him.
“Oh yah, there’s little blue on that. But check out the Orthoceras you found in Ottawa.”
He passes the glasses back to me.
“Its tentacles are moving, waving and changing colours. Cool.”
I pass the glasses back to him. “I don’t see it changing colours and I see a bit of movement,” he says.
“Dad, your eyes suck that’s why,” I say and give him a grin.
“Yes, my eyes have deteriorated over the past ten years.”
“Ok, you have better eyesight than me. You tell me what you see,” Dad passes the glasses back to me.
“Wow. That smelt in the back is swimming and he is this nice silver colour resembling a live fish. He’s raised above the rock substrate. Oh my god, he’s now about a foot above the rock. His fins and gills are working.”
“How do you know it’s a ‘he’?”
The fish I’m watching darts out of the closet. I duck to the left and yell out, “It’s flying!”
I’m pirouetting and now I’m looking at the wall facing the closet with a painting of a boy on a beach Trevor had painted that’s above the futon.
“Holy cow! It’s in the ocean in the painting,” I scream out!
“It’s back now.”
I lock eyes with my dad and say, “We have to go to Alcobaça tomorrow with the glasses. I want to test them on dead people at the monastery and see if they have an ancient aura like the fossils.”
 Camarão- Shrimp or prawns
 Natas- Cream
 Bondo- a putty used as an automotive body filler