Eureka – Finding California

The Land – part 5

Throwing Stones.

“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

Well, we were about thirteen years old, so I’m pretty sure we weren’t without sin, but we sure we’re having a good time throwing stones. As usual, my mom had dropped us off at the beach on her way to work in the morning where we were free to roam all day until my buddy’s dad picked us up on his way home from work in the evening.  A typical 9 to 5 day for us. We loved our jobs. Even on days like this when it was stormy and onshore and too ugly to surf. Maybe it would get better later. Nothing to do now but wait and see.

Harassing animals was  a great way to kill time for a couple of bored kids.  We’d get sticks and climb around on the jetty smashing crabs. Ruthless. Twisted. Fun. The birds must have loved seeing us climb around out there preparing feasts for them.  On one particular day my buddy started throwing rocks at the seagulls overhead.  He had a good arm. Me, not so much, but I joined in all the same.  We’d probably only thrown about seven small stones, when one of them made contact.  To this day, I’m not sure which of us threw it, but I don’t think it matters.

What I do remember is the initial excitement quickly melting away as the bird went into a limp spiral, landing in the water just outside the breaking waves.  We watched it in silence as it struggled lamely against the currents and chop, slowly drifting out to sea.  We’d killed more than just time on that stormy day, and I was no longer innocent.

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