"Hey? Wanna go collect rocks?" said no one ever!
Only they did say it and I was super fucking excited about this amazing new thing called "collecting rocks." Super fancy name I know but I was in.
Eddie and Dan lived in my neighborhood and were a year or two older than me. Though they didn't hang out with me as much as they did when we were younger, I still considered them my friends.
Well apparently in school, Eddie and Dan were having ALL THE FUN, because they were learning all about the wonderful, fascinating and dangerous world of.. get ready for it.. GEOLOGY! It was all they could frigging talk about!
Eddie: "The igneous is my favorite"
Dan: "No way, metaphoric rocks are way better"
Meanwhile you have me on the sidelines like
They asked if I wanted to go down to the power lines behind my house to hunt for rocks. To say I was excited is like asking if the sun sets in the West. OBVIOUSLY!
Eddie graciously provides each of us with a brown lunch bag to fill with rocks and we head out, myself, Eddie, Dan and because I can barely remember what I had for dinner last night, we will call the unknown 4th person, Guido, because is sounds funny to me.
Man I couldn't wait to find one of these beauties! What better place to find rare rocks like the one above than at the power lines...
We split up and scoured the ground for earths natural treasures. Occasionally you'd hear someone call out something like "I found a gypsum" or "OH MY GOD LOOK AT THIS" we'd rush over and it would be a little stone of little importance.
The thing is though, we all thought we had goldmines. This was it! I was going to bring home so many goddamn rocks, worth thousands of dollars that my family would be living on easy street.
Here's the problem with that though, we each just had a brown paper bag filled with random jagged heavy rocks. None of it was worth anything, let alone interesting.
We emerge from the power lines and set up shop on a picnic table in my neighbors yard. Eddie dumps his bag out, sorts through rocks, so does Guido. Dan on the other hand seemed to have lost interest all interest all together because he had found something way more interesting than some stupid rocks.
He found a dead mouse!!!
Eddie, perhaps seeing that Dan was having more fun than him, soon too forgot all about his rocks and grabbed the mouse away from him. I watched them from the picnic table about 20 feet away, laughing and thankful that Eddie was chasing Dan with the dead mouse by the tail and not me.
It didn't last very long because soon I was on top of that picnic table, looking down at Eddie with sheer panic in my eyes. I held my brown bag of sharp, jagged rocks in my right hand.
"Ha ha ha Shawn" he taunted.
I clenched the hell out of that bag. It was rolled up in my fist like a freaking vice grip. Now the easy thing would have been to just, I dunno, jump off the picnic table and run away. Maybe even a better solution could have been to say
"Hey Eddie, stop waving that dead mouse by the tail in front of my face"
I did none of those things though.
Right decisions, wrong decisions.
Can you guess what path I took? Oh yeah I did!
I clenched that goddamn bag like an old lady protecting her purse from scumbag muggers in some inner city neighborhood. I raised it above my head and with the power of Zeus (or any other bad ass deity of your choosing) I smashed that fucker over his goddamn head.
Yeah! BAD DECISION!
Though I didn't get to see the blood fly out of his head, due to him immediately grabbing his skull, screaming like someone had just hit him over it with a bag full of jagged rocks, and running away. I did see the blood as the stones fell from the torn bag hitting the picnic table with loud, noticeable thuds.
I was now alone. They'd all run off, leaving me there on the picnic table, perhaps as a way for me to think about what I'd just done.
Judging from the amount of blood dripping off the bag of rocks, my 8 year old brain knew I needed to do something, and FAST!
So I dropped the bag and ran about 30 yards, next door to my house. Ain't nobody gonna find me there.
"Shawn?" I hear my mother yell as I bolt past her in a fit of panic. I run into my room, slam the door and for whatever reason decide that my closet will be a suitable hiding spot.
I hear someone at the front door. My mother gets up from the couch and I can hear two muffled voices chatting back and forth.
"Shaaaaaawwwn!!" my mother's voice calls and it isn't pleasant sounding.
I saunter out to the other room and see Donna, Dan's mother, her arms folded looking at me like WTF KID.
"Did you hit Eddie with a bag full of rocks?" she asks.
"Yes, he had a mouse"
"He's bleeding in my bathroom right now" she continued.
Now even though I was only 8, my first thought was "At least he isn't dead"
Let's just say Eddie's parents didn't like me much after that. As a matter of fact, I can't remember ever really hanging out with him again after that. I don't even know if he went to the hospital or not. He had to have gotten stitches though, there was no way that from what I saw on that bag, he didn't get them.
But in the end, what's important is that he's alive. Even though he probably shouldn't be.
Shawn McGovern grew up on a farm 15 miles from Toledo OH. His life long dream is to one day visit that magical city and tell all of his friends about it.