The process of using surface tension to skip a stone across a tensionless mirror requires the length, and elasticity of a poet, the muscle memory of a baseball pitcher, and a hint of rocket scientist laced with the confidence of a fool.
All put together, it is a composite of choice, a missile selected and cast from the hand of the author, has the intention of course to break all speed barriers ballistics be damned, to out do and out skip all prior throws. The higher the count of graceful collisions with air bursts as a reflex rebound from the surface of the water, the more significant and warrior like- the cast.
Bragging rights if it’s a contest amongst boys and girls, survival if represented as a metaphor by which to survive and play- in life.
In my case, it was getting through my freshman and sophomore years of high school.
Let’s see… Freshman year:
No melt down, but a beat down finally went down. My pound of flesh was had and taken advantage of. No romance this year, as explorations down that road were muted by awkwardness and thwarted by shyness.
I was still looking for the perfect jeans, hoping that they fit, and if they did- well I would too. I wanted that tight, and bulky look, and would wash my jeans constantly to get that stone washed fade that seemed to be the amulet to the eye- for hippies and jocks alike. The perfect blue. Faded, with highlights of embossed white at all creases, seams, and punctuated rivets.
You know how it goes when you cook something you have never offered up before? Some people are chemists, and follow all the directions step by step. In my case it was more like alchemy when it came to the social soup I dipped into. First of all, I wasn’t a hippie, I had athletic aspirations, played football, basketball, and wrestled for two years until I decided that wearing an earring was worth more to the nobleness of my soul, than the hard mat on which my shoulders rested far too often due to lack of intensity and personal commitment.
So I had my jock friends. At the same time I was enchanted with the pseudo intellectual, go to the concert get wasted and bring the ladies home to my crib- crowd. That was definitely a different mentality, and these homies used less to get laid more. Jeans, hair, and an off brand look- that usually sealed the deal.
I watched all that, but was never that. Too shy I guess.
In between the two major groups, were subsets of plankton and pilot fish just nestled into obscurity, lingering yet lathery close to the big fish, but too small to be captured in the net.
They were the writers, musicians, the intellectuals, the political activists to be, the dreamers, non-conformists, the road not taken unrecognizable people, they were invisible to to most of this schools’ population that primarily consisted of professorial and higher educated offspring. These were truly the big fish to be, salmon so to speak, that are only fished for when mature.
I wasn’t one of them either.