June 04, 2002

Busted by AKMA

Well, I thought my little K-Mart post (Bluelight Special) went mostly unnoticed. I guess it did, except for AKMA. On the topic of forgiveness, of which he has become the inspired master, AKMA uses my sins of the past as a jumping off point to discuss whether or not we are better off for having gone wrong in our early days, or whether maybe we just *are.* Would we change the course of events if we could? Would we erase certain experiences--ones we're not the proudest of? Or are they woven into our fabric in such a way that we wouldn't have become the same people if we hadn't run on the bad side for a time? All good questions. I'm not sure I have answers--at least not ones as good as AKMA's.

But I will say this--while I felt guilty for some time about shoplifting during my teen years, some of my best memories are those that resulted from a particularly good day on the prowl. Sitting with my best friend, behind Sibley's deparment store, sharing a can of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting, talking about things that mattered, why we wanted to run away, we'd make our plans, we'd pack our clothes in our minds, we'd grab a train, head south, who knows, but we'd make it. All the while, we're licking finger-full after finger-full of Betty Crocker until the sugar high kicks in just right, taking us to that place where 12 year olds shouldn't have to go, but if we had to go, vanilla frosting wasn't such a bad way to get there.

As a consumer and worker, I think I've made my amends. Would I recommend this abnoxious diversion to kids or anyone else? NO. (Wynona, are you listening?) Would I be plenty pissed if my child did what I did? YES. But I'd like to think I'd know if she were doing it. No one knew that I was. Therein, perhaps, lies the difference.

But, AKMA forgive me, I wouldn't take an eraser to those times either--I mean, if I could. Those were days of friendship and early bonds, we had a power out there that we didn't have at home. We were, for a few minutes every couple of days, in charge of our own destiny. Those were my days. Our days. And we did have our day, oh yes. We did.