"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

23 February 2014

Rock Whisperer

She didn't really make a lasting impression. Just someone drifting by inquiring what there was to do. I am paid in folding paper and jingling coins to tell people where to go and suggest what they do when they get there. It is more rewarding an interesting than you might think. Next to dancing with the dead for money, it's been my coolest form of bankrolling my adventures and paying my mortgage.

She mentioned an interest in history, which is auspicious, what with being a in a funky-gotta have the funk!-mining town. I mentioned the couple hundred Victorian-era structures, a large concentration for the region. Much later, I would mention my town, two miles and six-hundred vertical away, and how both municipalities have hosted summer home tours over the years.

When she returned, she thanked me for my suggestions and set about looking at bobbles and gee-gaws. Part of the dance. Her attention became focused on some pieces with turquoise.

"This one has a tree, and, this one, a butterfly. There's something deeper in this one." She then looked up at me. "I only get rocks if they have a story in them."

I smiled slightly and courteously. Perhaps a Voodoo mask of understanding. Although, I believe there's a story in everything. I watched with predatory fascination as her fingers cautiously stroke the stones, teasing out the whispers in esoteric tongues borne deep from within the belly of the earth.

"I'll take this one," she said finally, pointing at the one she said held a tree.

"Life's short, get them all," I said with equal parts flippancy and truth.

"I can't," she said with quiet reverence. "Those stories are for other people. You can't steal other people's stories."

"Of course," I wondered if she could read the thievery I was engaging in within my smirk.

We finished our dance with the exchange of paper and coins for piece of polished turquoise on a leather cord. The necessary civilities were traded. She promised to return in the summer, to see the museums and perhaps catch a home tour.

"And the other people will be here for their stories soon enough," she said over her shoulder as she left.

"Of course, Mademoiselle," I said with a slight inclination of my head, wondering if she knew of the story I'd collected, if not outright stolen, from her.


  1. All of my rocks and stones have spoken to me. How cool she could hear the voices...

    1. When Sabina picks up a rock on the trail she insists there's not another like it in the whole of creation. Of course, it needs to sparkle and shine in order to grab her attention. Sometimes, I find this amusing.

  2. you little story-stealer, you. Though I suppose you've put your own spin on it. No two people tell the same story, either-- or at least not the same version.

    1. I'm only little next to a Maasai, y'know. Reckon the story is unique to the teller, neh?

  3. "I can't," she said with quiet reverence. "Those stories are for other people. You can't steal other people's stories."

    I love that.

    Another well-told piece. :-) I love how you write.


  4. Robbie, we'd like to invite you to become one of our Authors in Alexandria. This invitation has been extended to you by email as well.

    In addition to posting on anything you wish, as you desire, you may of course mirror posts you've already written from here or elsewhere to gain a different or additional audience or for any other reason that appeals to you.

    If you think you might be interested, contact me through Alexandria or by return email via this comment and I'll forward our formal invitations for you to look over and return if you decide to proceed.

    Come contribute your perspectives and opinions to the ongoing conversations there or, even better, start some new - and different - ones of your own.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    H. M. Stuart