Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Being Held Accountable

I could never have imagined they would take it quite so hard.  After all, aren’t we entitled to certain allowances in our reckless youth?

What I really wanted to imagine-however delusional, mind you-was that they wouldn’t find out.  At least not until the whole affair was ancient history.  Folly!

And why, I’ll never understand, do one’s parents insist on visiting on a Sunday morning?  There ought to be a law.

I can still hear their words, and a harsher tone I hope I never have to hear again. “ We are VERY, VERY disappointed in you!”  And then a haze of more words…most of them rather unkind. Please don’t ask me to repeat them.

It’s not my fault the whole gang decided to gather at the club on Saturday night.  By the time I arrived, the merriment was well under way.  What was I supposed to do?  I joined them, of course.  I don’t have a rude bone in my body.

But “if only.”   I have a few of those.

If only there hadn’t been quite so much merriment-and  a particular song hadn’t been played.   A song that always turns me into a beast.

If only I hadn’t kicked a policeman on the shin.  (And insulted his mustache.)

If only I had been able to outdistance him. Even limping, he covered  the pavement with alarming speed.

( At least the judge let me off with a warning-this time.)

If only I’d had the foresight to destroy the evidence after reading about myself in the paper this morning.

If only, if only, if only…

But I left the offending newspaper, dissected into various sections, scattered about my apartment-the front page on the sofa.

And that front page-with its incriminating headline- practically shouted hello as my parents took a seat.

If only.

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