Monday, January 28, 2008

1965 – Stones At Play

I saw the sharp, jagged shape of grey stone gliding slowly through the air, before connecting, mercilessly, with my top lip. For some inexplicable reason, I knew it was going to strike, but froze in the moment.

I felt the sharp stab as that stone stopped dead in its flight, followed by the warmth of blood trickling over my front teeth. Shaking my head, as much to loosen pain tears from my shocked eyes as in stunned disbelief of what had just happened, I could see Hartmut running over the last pile of dump-truck spoils to get to me. To say he was So Sorry, while simultaneously stifling that familiar boyhood glee at having hit his mark.

I knew then we shouldn’t have done it. In a split second I came so close to losing an eye or several teeth. This stone was large enough to bruise my entire upper lip. And adding insult to injury, this was the result of play rather than anger between males.

I used the waistline of my T-shirt to stem the steady flow of blood, and when I got home, Mum inspected the neatly cut skin flap. She calmly said I’d live.

Hartmut, whose German parents owned and ran the small corner store on the corner of Collins and Roberts Streets, and I had been exploring the proposed building up and levelling of clean fill for yet another playing field t Ziems Park. And we’d been engaged in the thoughtless play of throwing stones at one another for less than several minutes.


Post a Comment

<< Home