Friday, November 22, 2013
Alien in the Delta
I was in the eleventh grade when the fellows whom I hung around with tried to get me to do things that I had been taught were wrong. Those three fellows were my best friends. They drank beer, wine, and whiskey, and they kept trying to get me to join them. I always came up with some excuse not to participate, and most of the time, they left me alone. But one night after basketball practice, one of them had a cheap bottle of wine, and we all had to take a drink from the same bottle and pledge our everlasting friendship and loyalty to one another. This time, I could not escape. So I took just one drink and was about to leave when one of them suggested that we break into the school cafeteria and steal whatever we could carry. They told me that I had made a pledge, and I couldn't chicken out on them now. We found a window that had been left unlocked, and we climbed through it. Once inside, I began to get cold feet. I could visualize getting caught and going to jail, embarrassing my parents, never completing high school, and destroying my life. What do you think happened? Well, I stole whatever I could carry, and that was a box of twenty-four small cartons of milk. I took the box of milk home and asked my father if he wanted to buy it for $2.25. He said yes and wanted to know where I had gotten the milk and if I could bring home more tomorrow. I told him that I had gotten it from school, and I would try to bring home another box tomorrow. No crime or lie ever goes undetected.
The next day, my father wanted to know why I ’hadn’t brought home more milk. I told him that the school sold out of extra milk. But he ’wasn’t satisfied with my explanation. He visited the school and spoke to the person I said had given me the milk. He asked him about the milk that I had brought home. My father wanted to be put on a waiting list if the school ever had any more extra milk for sale.
The person who talked to my father came to me afterward and said.
“I know that you and your friends stole from the school cafeteria. I will not report you, but I am disappointed in you. It would break your’ parents’ hearts if they ever found out what you have done. So stay out of trouble and get a new set of friends.”
I can't drink milk today without getting sick. I guess that’s my punishment.