Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Arrest (#1)

As I said, I had rather expensive tastes - I only stole the best this discount department store had to offer. Given that my non-purchases valued in excess of $50.00, I was officially in deep shit. I sat in that dingy office praying that the cops would beat my stepdad there. I planned on telling them that I was a pathological thief in need of psychiatric observation. If they didn't believe me, I planned on stealing something off the security officer's desk while they were standing there. My ultimate goal was to be carted off to a mental hospital before my stepdad could get his hands around my neck. Surely if I were involuntarily committed, my parents could not kill me. Maybe I'd even get a court-appointed guardian.

Sarge (my stepdad) arrived first. There was no place to hide. I believe it was at this point in which I went into a self-induced coma. No - first I saw him turn red and begin to shake. Okay - now I go into the coma because the next thing I remember was riding in the front seat of his car, watching his hands shake on the steering wheel, witnessing the crimson hue of his ears and neck, and wondering why he wasn't yelling at me. We pulled into the driveway and I'll never forget the tears welling up in his eyes as he said, "I gave you my name, and you ruined it." With that he got out of the car and left me sitting there.

I was arrested. We had to go before the juvenile court judge in private chambers. An agreement was struck; if my parents and I agreed to counseling at the youth center for six weeks, all charges would be dropped and my record would be wiped clean. This would mark the second of four times in my life that I saw my stepdad cry. He walked away and my mother said, "I've never seen him cry. You've destroyed him." Yes, you could say that counseling was definitely in order.

I don't remember much about it - the counseling. I remember sitting in a circle with kids who had set fire to cars or broken into homes. I remember thinking, "Well, this is great. For once I get to be the underachiever." I also remember my individual counseling. My counselor cracked his knuckles. I picked that up, and still to this day pop and bend my fingers when I'm stressed out. I do NOT remember the family counseling. I have buried it too deep. I don't think either of them ever forgave me, and I'm pretty sure Sarge carried his image of a stained name to his grave.

Next: The Other Arrest