Unfortunate Timing

After fifteen-or-so minutes of throwing rocks off of the roof it occurred to me that throwing rocks off of the roof maybe wasn’t a good idea. They weren’t big rocks. Not pebbles either, though. Pebble adjacent. Big enough to hear them plunk and skitter as they hit the asphalt of the alleyway below. We were throwing them blind. Not aiming, just tossing as if two-stories down wasn’t a street but a stream where cold glacial water caught the stones like a fireman’s blanket, cradling them as they floated gently down to the riverbed, the fish annoyed but able to get out of their way.

The rocks covered the roof of the building and we’d been casually lobbing them for so long that we’d dug a small moat around ourselves. It extended as far out as our arms could reach from our legs-splayed, sitting positions. One more went up, over the edge of the building and down without a sound of impact. I looked at you but you were looking ahead, thinking of other things I couldn’t quite decipher from your pursed lips and furrowed brow. I was thinking of the rock and where it had landed. What it could have landed on that would absorb the modest sound of it crashing to earth. An open dumpster? A rat with unfortunate timing, pausing to smell some trash? A person walking, their eyes closed but up towards the moon, cursing or praising it for its push or pull, quietly mouthing the words with just a bit too much enthusiasm, lips peeled wide as the stone swooshes between their netting of teeth, skimming the tongue, down the gullet and into the dank, squelching blackness of the human body where it lands on old bits of lunch and swallowed pride?