Tuesday, September 20, 2005

stealing cigarettes is easy

i stole some cigarettes yesterday. sprinting from the circle-k with my carton of reds was rough. i'm completely out of shape as a result of my loafish lifestyle. the cigarette jones underlying the past week finally beat out my higher reasoning skills, so i had to steal.

i hadn't eaten anything but condiments for almost 48 hours so you'd think i'd aspire for something more sustaining. you'd be wrong. i am a man of vices living in a society of immediate gratification. i want my nicotine now please.

shoplifting isn't new to me. i used to jack batteries and razorblades from the supermarket, only because they're so expensive and wear out so fast. i would discreetly take them out of their respective packages while pushing my cart up and down the aisles collecting groceries. without the upc code the sensors at the exits don't go off kids.

i'd drop them in my pockets (i always wear cargo shorts or pants) and walk out after actually buying all the other things i needed. it was satisfying, but i shortly thereafter became a man of principle and gave up the petty theft racket.

until now, i guess. stealing wasn't something planned; i was just going in to fondle the products and remember how great it was to eat. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

but that beautiful box reminded me of the craving and how wonderful that three-second breath of smoke was. those small moments are the only vacations a poor man gets.

the clerk behind the counter was a squat woman who obviously didn't relish her job. i like to imagine fictional backgrounds for strangers i see, and in my mind this woman despised her station in life. she too was a smoker, never married, but still probably crapped out a baby or six.

and she was not going to chase me. my rationale is that the only type of person who would actually chase someone for stealing a twenty-dollar grocery item would be either the store owner or a relative of the owner; someone with a vested interest in the store's profit margin. but this is 2005. the family-owned small business has to battle wal-mart, and is thusly rare (and i doubt $20 is going to really hurt mr. and mrs. circle-k).

i grabbed and ran, right out the door, death sticks in tow. the clerk may have yelled, i don't remember. i don't know if she even bothered calling the police. do convenience stores call the police for things like that?

i got away with it and am now looking for any kind of fire. it's harder to find than you'd think when you're broke.

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