Back when I was a younger lad, right around the time I was twelve, and old roger was well beyond that in doggy years, I would skip stones on the lake behind my house. I had another friend named James who would always skip rocks with me except he found it funnier to skin my knees with them. I wasn’t too fond of James, but I complied when my wife had decided to name our eldest James.
The two of us skip these stones across these waters, chewing Blackjack gum as we go. The waves would make this hollow sound, the sound you would get if it was raining on one of the old barrels from http://www.ybdco.com/. There was a manufactory near by and we would love to roll ourselves down the hills in them. We’d stand up and get dizzy and lose our lunches on the leaves as the wind took them away like whispers.
Anyway, there was this one time where we would be skipping stones except mine snagged something. It didn’t make the hollow droplet that it usually does. It made a spongy thwack sort of sound. If Batman had an issue where he spent the entire time fishing, this sound would inevitably make its way onto the splash page.
Well, me and James (not my son) would just stand there for a moment. The calmness of the ripples stilling themselves against the slowly coming tide. A curious bubble seemed to form, multiply briefly and stop. Then a fish, belly up showed itself. In the place of its eye happened to be the very stone I did skip.
I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes, life throws stones at you. Some people will catch it in their eye and go belly up like the fish. Some people may be able to fight through the pain and survive like you see a lot of people do. But other times, sometimes the stones will be used to skin your knee and it’s all your left with knowing for the rest of my life.
He may not have had lymphoblastic lymphoma, but ol’ James was a Marlboro man from birth. He was never long for this world, but in his time here he certainly left his impacts, my knees and some poor girls womb. But sometimes I’ll stand by my window and look out to that lake, wonder if the waters still splash the same way. I just can’t bring myself to go down there, the sounds of Roger and the cackles of James would float around me like butterflies.
My son called me last week, told me that he might pick up a new job soon and that I should drive down to see him. Hope the chevy can make the trip. I’ll think about it, his birthday is next month and I’d like to make it all one trip but I know now I’ll probably end up making two trips. My boy James will end up outliving my friend James, not that it’s surprising. But it is a bit sad, but that’s the way life goes I guess. We just got to keep our noses clean and our heads down and let life just roll over us or it will take us into its hot mess and leave just our shoes behind.