At 12, I was not very charismatic, but neither was I a follower, so I commanded a tiny platoon of the brain dead and hopelessly shy. One mid March afternoon, Timmy, Mike and myself wandered a mile through the elm canopied streets of southwest Minneapolis until we came upon Lake Calhoun. From Thomas beach we struck out northwesterly along the shoreline until finally, we made camp at a location we called the gravel pit; an eroded chunk of dirt and grass where the rocks of the original lake bed were in abundance at the edge of the beach.
It had been
my big idea, to throw stones at the receding ice floe, trying to clip
off chunks on which imaginary polar bears might rest before swimming
ashore. But Timmy, being Timmy, decided to demonstrate his superior
strength by heaving a giant sized boulder into the sea, while I stood
between he and the lake, searching for my own boulder. We all knew Timmy
wasn’t all that strong, (except for Timmy of course) but the message
was brought home when his boulder found purchase in the center of my
skull, rather than on the delicate slab of rotting ice at which it was
After a few minutes of traveling through an unknown
dimension, I began to hear my friends shouting oaths to the Almighty as
they pointed at my head. I gingerly put my hands atop my silver blond
hair and felt around. Sure enough; the mastermind had been given an
opening, and I had to hurry home before it decided to make a run for it.