Crime and Punishment (2 of 2)

…But that’s when I was young. Something dreadful happened as I got older: I started to think. And whenever I thought about my thieving ways, I couldn’t square it with what I knew to be right. Gradually, every thin pretext and half-baked rationalization dropped away from me like status from a dead man. Now this left me in a quandary. I knew what I had done was wrong but didn’t know how to put things right again. I mean, I wasn’t about to pay for all those books. Good lord, no. I only had a paper route, after all. And no matter how many newspapers I folded and porched (with Marino-like accuracy, if do say so myself), no matter how many fees I collected, my savings account weighed in at a waifish $93. To make matters worse, whenever I stepped foot in a bookstore or a library, hell, whenever I just saw a book, anywhere, I got nervous and fidgety as a horse before a storm. My stomach would snort and whinny so violently that I’d have to bolt for the bathroom lest I beshat myself. Some people have their conscience in their head or heart. Mine was in my gut, apparently. Irritable morality syndrome? You bet. Cruel punishment most condign. It’s been more than 25 years since I stole those books. And now that my savings account is safely on the plus-side of $93, I’m trying to contact John Wiechman or other former proprietors of a Clean Well-Lighted Place in Cupertino, CA, whose lights went dim in 1997. I owe you more than a beer.

6 Responses to Crime and Punishment (2 of 2)

  1. R. T. says:

    Anyone who admits to suffering from irritable morality syndrome has achieved absolute absolution. I knew there had to be something resembling a happy ending to something entitled “crime and punishment.” You seem to have arrived at your clean, well-lighted place. Congratulations!

  2. Tony says:

    So no religious enlightenment in a Siberian labour camp then? 😉

    • No, just good old-fashion non-religious enlightenment at the base of the Santa Cruz mountains, but – damn – my route to good sense feels like one leading out of a Siberian labor camp.

  3. […] it, Without you have read some posts by the name of “Crime and Punishment.” (Here and here). But that ain’t no matter. Unlike a ghost, my physical hands pilfered physical books. I […]

  4. […] The Leopard. It provides a record of my thoughts and observations, and even a petty crime (1 and 2). And it’s encouraged me to experiment with different forms of writing. As for the cons, I […]

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