Since starting this new blog I’ve been trying to flex my atrophied writing muscles by attempting to post at least thrice a week, which is apparently harder than it would seem, so I’m looking for inspiration out in the ether through some of my favorite bloggers’ weekly link-ups, and what better place to be on a Thursday than MamaKat’s pretty much world-famous writer’s workshop.
This week, one of the prompts was to “write about a time you stole something”, and a very old memory came to the surface…
When I was twelve my Dad decided to move us all up to Calgary (Canada) for about a year for work, as I was already an angsty preteen (i.e. massive pain in the ass) my parents decided to spare themselves the hell that would have been having me around for the move and shipped me off to spend the summer in Italy with my aunt. I had a grand time, I got to fly to Europe by myself, I even got to switch flights in Frankfurt, where, for some reason I wasn’t carted around by a flight attendant. In retrospect, I wonder what the hell my parents were thinking letting a twelve-year old traipse off to Europe on her own like that, but it was the eighties and everyone was more reckless.
But none of this is the point of this story.
I get back to Calgary after my summer on the Italian riviera, and the harshest of realities sets in. I’m away from my friends, it’s damn cold, the days start to get shorter and by the way my Mother loathes it there. And then it starts to snow. And snow, and snow, and… you get the point. Keep in mind that I grew up in Houston, Texas where cold is 65°F. I went to a tiny French school (tiny as in all of middle school fit into one classroom), so I resorted to making up an alternate Houston life for my new friends, in which I had a twin sister, who inexplicably was left behind to fend for herself in Texas, and a whole host of other inanities which I thought would make me seem more interesting in the circumstances. This entirely too long preamble to say that I wasn’t adjusting to the move very well.
Anyway, every day at lunch we were allowed to leave school and go to the nearby park, on the way we would stop at a small Korean convenience store for candy or ice cream or something. Again, not entirely sure why they let a group of thirteen year olds out of school unsupervised. And, I don’t know how it started, if on a dare or what, but every day we would steal stuff from the convenience store. A candy bar, a bag of chips, a soda… we would always buy something, but we stole more than we ever bought. We’d go outside and compare our loot and laugh at how unbelievably daring and cool we were. And the store owner knew. I still remember a look he gave me one day, I don’t know why he never said anything, but the simple memory of that look brings me shame to this day.
Soon after, we stopped going to that convenience store and maybe halfway into February when my Mother realized that the snow would just never stop falling and the days, it seemed, would never get longer, she threatened divorce and we moved back to Houston, to my old school and my old life.
I never, not once, stole anything again. I still wonder why I did it in the first place.
On a side note, Calgary is a lovely city, the weather is indeed abysmal but there are things that more than make up for it, but my Mom is Brazilian, she hadn’t even seen snow till well into her twenties, she simply isn’t built to live it subarctic climes.