I initially wrote about this when I was sixteen and decided to appropriately re-post it today, but with a bit of editing to make it somewhat more relevant to my life now. It’s not very good, but I felt way more like editing something than trying to write something new. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but I’m hoping to start posting a little more regularly. S.O. to the like, three people who read this stuff, though. You know who are, you sexy snipes, you. Enjoy.
Between the ages of two and six my very best friend in the whole tall world (the world seemed much taller then), aside from my cousin Katie, was Johnathon Corriere. Like many of my fool-hardy friends over the years, Johnathan was convinced that I could could play sports. Unlike the following several times someone tried to get me to play a sport, I was also convinced I could play sports. Rock ball changed that.
Rock ball is a pretty simple game to understand and Johnathan taught it well.
HOW TO PLAY ROCK-BALL:
- Make sure you have at least two people, a batting stick, and a couple of rocks.
- One person stands at the back wall of the yard, and the other stands under the tree near the door to the back-yard.
- Argue over who gets to bat first.
- Little Girl gets to bat first according to the solemnly obeyed, age-old, irrefutable law “girls rule, and boys drool”
- Little Boy irritably instructs Little Girl in the proper way to hold a bat.
- Little Girl demands why the bat cannot be held by the larger end.
- Little boy gives in-depth explanation of the history and reasons for holding a bat by the slimmer part -“because – that’s why!!!”
- Little girl stubbornly holds bat by the fatter end, determined to prove that it will be a much more effective way to send the rocks soaring.
- Little boy makes face and walks back under tree to pitch the first rock.
- Little girl suddenly decides that pitching would be a lot more fun.
- Little boy happily switches.
By this point, it had occurred to me that perhaps rock-ball wasn’t so safe of a game. I was confronted with the knowledge that I was about to have a rather hard object thrown uncomfortably near my face, that the wider end of the bat would indeed be far more likely to make contact with said object, and worst of all that Johnathan knew more about something than I did. I attempted to evade the impending doom of being a made a bruised and bloodied fool. I informed Johnathon that we should switch. He agreed readily enough, but made the mistake of calling me a scaredy-cat and pulling my pony-tail. I really didn’t appreciate that.
In retrospect, it occurs to me that stepping on his foot and trying to punch him in the face was not the best way to convince him I wasn’t scared and should have incurred a more violent reaction from him, but it didn’t. His crush on me must have been HUGE. All he did was dodge my flailing fist and say as he stepped back “Okay, okay! I believe you! I won’t do it again!” smiling a little in the charming way little boys have. I stormed off to the position under the tree and he took the one by the wall. To my increasing humiliation he was also holding the bat correctly.
Sports are a complete lost cause for me. I don’t understand them, they bore me, and the physical effort they require is just not my jam. This doesn’t mean I hate any physical activity. I used to go running and dance all the time, I still go for long walks when I have the time, and sex is great. But I was particularly uncoordinated as a small child. So, really, all the terrible things which then ensued were definitely Johnathan’s fault.
Point in case, when I tried to pick up a safe, small stone that wouldn’t be likely to maim something were my aim to go horribly awry in the manner it usually did, he made me find a bigger stone.
It wasn’t just bigger. It ended up being the biggest fucking stone I could carry and still throw a reasonable distance.
I knew what Johnathan was trying to do. He wanted to rub it in my face that I couldn’t handle the intense bad-assery of rock ball. He wanted an impressively large rock to hit in order to make my defeat that much more humiliating. If anyone had been watching – wait no. If anyone older had been watching Johnathan and I would have had a far less interesting childhood.
I was too scared by this point to care how embarrassingly I lost and even nervously suggested to him that we play a game of spies instead. He refused, insisting that we had gotten this far and were gonna play this game. However he must have noticed how terrified I was, because he then set down his bat and proceeded to very sweetly encouraged me. He thought I was going to throw real good and he trusted me and he just knew I could do it! With such flattering and positive encouragement my fear evaporated.
I put on a brave face for my best bud, lifted my hand, aimed, closed my eyes, and threw the rock.
I shouldn’t have done that. Close my eyes.
I like to believe that I am a great source of hilarity for God and that this was particularly true in my younger days. I’m pretty sure that, when I closed my eyes and threw, He decided then would be a really funny moment to bless my aim. It was swift and true. Never truer, in fact. You see, I had been aiming for Johnathan’s face, because I knew there was no way on earth I could possibly hit what I was aiming for. I didn’t account for divine intervention.
HOW TO RUIN A REALLY GREAT GAME OF ROCK-BALL:
- Hand Little Girl an enormous rock to throw.
- Give Little Girl flattering encouragement.
- Pray for divine intervention.
- Watch smiling as Little Girl closes her big scared eyes to throw.
- Little Girl throws big rock, aiming for Little Boy’s face.
- Little Boy does not expect to get hit.
- Little Boy starts screaming.
- A lot.
- Attracts Little Boy’s mom’s attention.
- End game.
So ended the first of many misguided attempts of my friends’ to include me in their sport games. I don’t think I made any of my other friends go to the dentist with a blood-soaked mouth though, so I think this one takes the colloquial cake. Also, maybe I should have warned them what I was capable of. Maybe then I’d have a lot less traumatizing attempts to athletically fit in. Ah hindsight, you fucking 20/20 perfect vision bastard. You make my life so bittersweet.