The small rock in the plastic bag with the number “7” on it… I’ll call him number 7, if only because it sounds cuter than the other names I came up with (Mortimer and Inigo Mantoya, to name a couple).
Anyway, the rock itself is light in weight with smooth edges, like a lazy triangle. It would be a good skipping rock. It is almost rust colored, but not red at all, more yellow and brown. So I guess it’s not rust colored at all. It has dark spots. These are holes or lesions. They have almost a greenish hue. There are lighter yellow spots as well. The more I look at number 7, the more yellow it seems. If it were a gem, it would be a topaz. But it’s not a gem. It’s a rock, somewhat muddied but no less beautiful.
I gave number 7 a bath today. As I write this, he is drying off. I feel voyeuristic watching him like this.
He glistens from the moisture. He is darker, of course, but not as much as I expected. Other rocks–granite, for instance–become a much darker color. Number 7’s transformation is much more subtle. His yellow accents become more pronounced, a deeper shade. It is the color of toffee that has fallen between the seats of a movie theater. He dries off quickly and I can see this beauty fading. He must have been something to see in whatever river he came from. Now, he is preserved from eroding, but the deep color has left him.
Under the artificial lighting of my lamp, the rock looks more brown. I almost thought I saw red accents but that’s probably the dark just playing tricks on my eyes. I’ve started looking at the rock from the narrow sides rather than the broad ends. We tend to just see rocks as they would lie on the ground, heave and broad, but number 7 is quite thing (as I stated before, he would make a good skipping stone). Still, he is not just flat. His body curves and warps as if someone had constantly tried to twist him slowly for centuries and managed to gain a more subtle shape. This is no mere paperweight. This is a piece of geological history.
I guess if Number 7 was a person, he would be kind of scrawny with frecles. He’d get picked on all the time in school and he’d get picked last in gym class. Not to say he’s not athletic. Number 7 loves the outdoors and climbing trees. When he gets older, he gets into mountain climbing and dabbles a little in rock climbing. He likes to be high up in the clouds, where nobody is around and he can enjoy the solitude of his own thoughts. Number 7 gets married but it only lasts three years. Though he’s a very quiet and thoughtful person, he never developed his people skills. His wife got tired of trying to break through his shell, which was at first why she adored him; but she got frustrated when she realized she couldn’t change him.
Number 7 would make a louy arrowhead. No, really. He’s all soft edges, no sharp corners. He’s not one of those rocks that you step on and they jab into your foot bone (ow!). No, he’s one of those rocks that you just glance at, maybe pick up and throw. But an arrowhead? It might leave a nasty lump, but most things would if you shoot it with enough force. Number 7 just isn’t the weapon kind of rock. I doubt you could whittle him down into one, either. Just a big ol’ softie.