I have a rock collecting problem.
Like any addiction, it more or less rules me.
I love rocks.
And sea glass.
And even giant boulder-esque stone outcroppings that have any chance of being carried back with me.
Basically, anything that can quickly escalate my luggage up into the 80 or 90-pound range is just fine by me.
If I go anywhere with, near, in sight of, or on water, I immediately fill all my pockets with heavy earth-made goodies.
Once I found this amazing black triangle stone in a remote lake in northern Idaho. It was just lying there amongst a sea of round pebbles and oblong stones in varying shades of white and tan – a thin equalateral triangle in darkest ebony, with all three sides uniquely beveled. When I found I could stick it to my forehead and would stay there, I decided to keep it.
After a while I got it into my head that it was a magical rock. I would show it to people and they would always exclaim in disbelief that I had found such a thing sitting in a lake. It was perfect except for the rippled surface and some mild flaws in the beveling which made it clear that it’s strange shape was natural.
Eventually, I made a necklace out of it, and if I was on my older computer, I can guarantee there are at least two dozen pictures of me wearing that necklace, as I did so every day for almost a year. There’s actually one sitting in my bedroom that I glance at on a regular basis, taken by my friend Sam.
But I digress… One night I went and saw David Sedaris read from a book in progress (later to be released as Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim), and he (Mr. Sedaris, in many ways a personal hero, as I adore anyone who can make me laugh – particularly with their writing. He is masterful in that regard, and some of his stories make me laugh hysterically, like the story “Big Boy” in Me Talk Pretty One Day about when he found the giant turd in the toilet at a friend’s house and was afraid people would think he’d done it and yet couldn’t figure out how to dispose of it. Hi-larious.). Anyway, what I was trying to say was that Mr. Sedaris, while signing some of my books – including Me Talk Pretty One Day – afterward, pointed out that my necklace strongly resembled a bathroom tile.
Although I was a bit hurt by the observation*, it did not deter me. I kept wearing it, even though I had to acquiese that if you didn’t notice the rippled and slightly grooved surface, it did look a bit like something you’d pick up in a set of 100 of Home Depot.
No. David Sedaris and his cruel, yet accurate, wit did not cause me to quit my necklace. What deterred me was a string of bad luck so horrific that ‘bad’ does not begin to justify it. ‘Bad’ becomes more like when Michael Jackson sang, “I’m bad. I’m bad. You know it. You know, you know…” and he meant it the other way. Like opposite day.