Walking by the chain-linked construction site towards the Manwaring Center. A feeling from my childhood splashed through my gut. Almost ten years earlier at a scout camp in the mountains, some scouts and I had occupied ourselves by hurling rocks at each other. We dodged and yelled around the stony riverbed while throwing the biggest rocks we could palm. I aimed a big rock at Adam. I missed my target, and Adam chided. Fury swelled in me and I looked down among the stones to find a good sized projectile. Finding a clump of dirt and rock that was small enough to fit nicely into my hand, I threw another rock. Adam shot downward, leaving Bruce (who was standing behind him,) exposed and vulnerable. The clump broke on his face. "I can't see! My eye!" My stomach sank and my ears burned. Oh heck. I've blinded Bruce. My life is over. My hands trembled and I felt sick as I crawled up the side of the riverbed towards the thick of pine trees. Everything was so bright.
And then I walked up the stairs into the MC by the wooden handicap tunnel where some person had spray-painted, "LOVE," referring to the Ron Paul rEVOLution. No better way to promote your favorite candidate than vandalism, I thought. My legs were queesy as I pushed up the stairs, two at a time.
Bruce had been fine. Later that day, I walked to the top of the green hill into the tent where they were keeping him. The rock had hit him above the eye, not in, and he was bandaged up and fine. Bruce looked up and said, "Hey Matt. I'm okay. It's alright so I forgive you."
I was able to push the sick embarassment from my stomach as I shuffled through the metal-framed door of the Manwaring Center. It comes back every time I think about the clumpy rock and Bruce's blind scream.