I Remember When I Got Caught Shoplifting at Wal-Mart
Raging bodily chemicals. Puberty. Thirteen years of age. That was probably the most awkward time of my still very short life. I could sum up this particular experience (of which I will soon describe to you) with a million excuses: my parents didn’t love me, my friends were doing it, or a personal favorite - the devil made me do it. Unfortunately, I will have to take responsibility for my actions. Kleptomania. I just loved to steal, the thrill of beating the system. It was so easy, how could I stop, having a rush every time I did it. So why did I stop, and how could that day have had such an impact on my life?
Well one day, as far as I can remember a weekend day, Mr. Sticky-fingers (A.K.A. the narrator) decided he needed to liven up his evening. Well, since I usually went solo on my thieving escapades, it was strange of me to pull a stunt like this when I rode up there with my parents. Being a hormonally unbalanced adolescent, it made total sense to me. I had a creative plan on how to do it, too. The objective was to steal prepackaged assortment of “The Savage Dragon” issues 1, 2, and 3. The way I went about it was I bought a copy of “Daredevil,” and put it in one of those blue plastic shopper bags. I entered the foodateria with it, and then moments later I reentered the store. Ingenious plan to a naïve little eighth grader. Wow, I still remember how proud of myself I was. Back to my formally referred to ingenious plan: I finally sneaked back into the isle, grabbed the object of my desires and bagged it. Then it was time to split. As I walked towards the exit, my conscience grabbed hold of me. I eventually broke its grip in a matter of a few rapidly passing seconds, again showing my great character and strong moral fiber.
Just as I left Wal-Mart, moments away from proclaiming my manhood to the world, a gentle tap on the shoulder and a whisper to the ear took place. A blow so devastating its furiousity has yet to be matched in the years that I’ve been on earth. I was overcome with a fear that was unimaginable just ten seconds earlier when I marched in triumph. By the way those whispering words were, “Come with me.” A far cry from, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” but it too left its impact on the universe of my soul. “Fall from Grace” was inscribed across the cover of the Daredevil comic I had just purchased, an appropriate title given that moment of my life. Though graceful I was not, for tears carried across my shocked and disappointed mother’s face as the Wal-Mart employee escorted me to the security personnel’s office, for her little angel I am not, nor will I ever be again.
As worthless as I had ever imagined myself to be, I sank to a new low that evening. All doubts and suspicions my parents entertained in the back of their conscious minds began to surface. Next thing I knew I was responsible for anything and everything that went wrong. If something was missing, I had it. This in itself was punishment alone. Pride and honor are things no longer considered to be associated with myself. I choose not to disclose any more information of this traumatic time due to the pain I feel on the reopening of this wound. All I can say is that I have never entertained the thought of shoplifting since this incident, and that once incomparable thrill has been replaced by a dark and torturing chill.
Written by my dear friend Leran (pronounced Lee-ron), the 6th of October, 1997
Edited by Roy Murrell and Aguilar Elliot