I’ve got a thing for rocks. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been attracted to rocks: granite, sandstone, shale, agates.
Everyone in my family is like this. My mother and my sister both incorporate rocks in the scheme of things.
My brother had a rock polisher when we were little. It droned on, rolling non-stop for days and days and days. He only used it once, that I can recall – we were spastic, distract-able children – but I was jealous of the agates he got out of it, courtesy of Lake Superior.
Even today, wherein he is years and years older and yet somehow just as much a spaz, Kevin has some incredibly cool agates in his house.
And my father. Well, my father only recently discovered the Allman Brothers, and that rocks, too.
Rocks: So simple. So quiet. Rocks are nature’s haikus, deceptively simple pieces of poetry; and so you can imagine how surprised I was to recently become aware of how they could lead one to a life of crime.
It wasn’t until the trip to the Pacific Northwest two years ago that I fell under the rock’s spell.
Have you seen the mountains? Have you seen the boulders, the colors and striations of the Rockies? The sun’s light, when it hits the rocks, makes you believe.
Believe what, you say? Why, believe whatever it is that makes you feel right.
So I took them. I took the rocks.
Willie was sure we would be arrested. I had 13 good-sized rocks in the back of the rental car on the way home, representatives of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.
“It’s illegal to take rocks,” he said.
“Oh, like they’re going to pull us over for having unlawful knowledge of extraneous rocks,” I countered.
Big Willie used them to line the flowerbed in the front yard.
Since then, I’ve come to find out that it really is illegal to take rocks from the Rockies.
When the police drive by, and invariably slow down, I go in the house.
So why am I telling you all this?
So that I can tell you this: I almost did it again.
But you should’ve seen the rocks! Piles and piles of them, accent rock in the hotel’s parking lot and their little smoker’s park with its little smokers’ benches just outside of the parking lot… Large, respectable rocks right there, next to the smokers’ area…
For what are a couple of margaritas without a couple smokes?
That’s right. I bought a pack.
And I enjoyed it.
But I didn’t take them. I wanted to, but I didn’t.
The rocks, I mean.
Because I’m better than that.
And there were cameras.