Archives For Staten Island

shoplift 3

I just shoplifted a few items from Ulta, an overpriced makeup superstore.

Note: I’m not condoning shoplifting, or in fact, instructing any of you to do so.

As a matter of fact, this is a work of fiction.

If you get caught, and pull this article up on your phone to show security officers how you were led astray, they will laugh at you.

However. I KNOW some of you snapperheads are going to read this and become inspired to shoplift.

So, some basic rules.

1. Don’t ever shoplift from a liquor store, pawn shop, or anywhere the owner is strapped. You want an IPhone, not a bullet in your neck.

2. Don’t steal from people. Don’t steal from small mom and pop stores. There is honor among thieves! Go after the big retail chains. They pay slave wages, factor shoplifting into their overpriced inventory and are run by scumbags who deserve it.

3. Stay calm. Be upbeat and friendly if spoken to. Dress like a mediocre middle class white person, even if you’re not.

4. Have some of your friends, the ones who look like they drank too much tequila and woke up in a public bathroom, walk around acting suspicious. They will divert attention from you, dressed as a respectable suburban drone.

5. Don’t get cocky because you weren’t popped in Target. They have a crazy good camera system. They see EVERYTHING. They’re just not bothering your small-potatoes ass until it’s a felony. Then it’s hello, jail time.

6. Don’t cran your neck looking for cameras like an amateur. Pretend to reach for stuff on top shelves.

7. Never run unless you have been caught. If someone with a walkie talkie and pants up to his nipples accosts you are, RUN LIKE HELL

8. Wear shoes that are easy to run in (see # 4)

9. Stick a toddler in your cart and give him stuff to hold. Those little shits grab stuff all the time. Just hand it back and scold your kid. Don’t feel bad using your kid to steal. That little financial drain is the reason you have to shoplift anyway.

I had the money to buy what I wanted. As a matter of fact, I bought some things as well. That’s actually one of the techniques to avoid getting caught. Make a purchase.

So why did I steal?

Because. Like a whole lot of other things I shouldn’t do, I get a high from it. It appeals to the rebellious punk buried alive inside me. It’s my “fuck you” to the man. (yes, I just said that, deal with it).

But ever since I had a kid, I rarely shoplift. I don’t want to have to call Little Dude from county lock up to come bail me out.

 

I learned to shoplift from an expert. When I was in junior high my absolute best friend (well, my only friend) was Jayce, the other white girl in my school. Her older sister, Kelly, five years our senior, was the sister I never had – and my mentor in the art of the five finger discount.

Kelly and Jayce were the two sweetest girls on the planet. Kelly in particular had an angelic quality about her that made everyone adore her. Shoplifting expertise was so incongruous with her outward demeanor, no one ever suspected her.

She was also a heroin junkie, constantly bouncing in and out of methadone programs and rehabs. But that personality of hers – she was just so NICE. Even my mother loved her. More than me.

Jayce grew breasts one night the summer between elementary school and junior high. So began her foray into the world of bad girl-dom.

I was a good girl, a nerd, an A plus student. Running with Jayce and Kelly allowed me to take a trip to the dark side, the side with cigarettes and drinking and Jayce’s stories of the boys who felt her up in her backyard at night.

Every so often I would cut school and take the ferry from Staten Island into Manhattan with Kelly and Jayce. Crowded anonymous Manhattan was the perfect setting in which to learn shoplifting techniques.

Kelly taught me how to locate the “blind spot” in a department store, where security cameras can’t see you. To use the receipt from a purchase to go back into the store and walk out with the same item, unpaid.

She taught me how to go up to the jewelry counter at a department store, and confidently ask to see watches – and then pocket one practically right under the salesperson’s nose.

That was one of my favorite moves. I have to punch myself in the face to stop myself from pulling that one in a crowded Nordstrom’s at Christmas time.

 

Kelly was a loving daughter, a devoted sister and a total delinquent. Her parents owned a little beach house on the Jersey shore, which Kelly used to break into routinely and rob. And leave notes apologizing.

I spent three years in junior high under Kellys’ expert tutelage. I was an avid shoplifter all through college. I hate to write that I’ve never been caught, because even though it’s the truth, I feel as though it will jinx me.

Jayce turned into a full-blown bad girl in high school. I was still trying to color inside the lines at that point and we never spoke after the ninth grade but we nodded hello to one another every morning, when I passed her outside the high school. All school year long she stood outside with the other degenerates before class, smoking cigarettes and weed.

One day, in my junior year of high school, the phone rang. It was Jayce. She hadn’t called my house in years. I knew why she was calling, before she even said it.

Kelly had died. She drowned in the bathtub early one morning, while high on heroin.

My heart broke into a million pieces. My mom wept bitterly. I reconnected with Jayce then, briefly, but intensely. My mother and I spent all three days sitting with her family at Kelly’s wake.

Back at school, we resumed only our nod ‘hello’ in the morning. The last time I saw her was the day of my high school graduation.

I heard through the grapevine that Jayce got married and had kids almost right out of high school. I never spoke to her again.

I haven’t even thought of her or her sister in years.

But this morning, when I put on my stolen lipstick, I though of Kelly, Fagin to my Artful Dodger. And I wrote this story in her memory.

Did you ever shoplift? What other delinquent activities did you engage in?
Can I call you if I need bail money?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

Follow me on Instagram. I take pictures in superhero underwear because I crave validation.

wu-tang221113

The real title to this blog entry is “How Reading Saved My Life.”

Fat chance you were going to check that out, Sean and Don.

I’ve decided to embrace the whole “Google search term” thing.

No use fighting it, or trying to class it up with highbrow intellectual titles.

Nope. I’m giving EVERY BLOG POST a lascivious title.

Otherwise, how will I continue to attract the meritorious people of the Interwebz who are looking for,

“wife is always dry with me but if she reed sex stories she gets wet.”

(this is just a guess, pal – but maybe she would be a little moister if you weren’t a complete illiterate).

But now that you’re here, stick around. I promise to jazz up the story with the pottymouthed language and sexual innuendos you come here to read.

Because I led you on, I’ll provide sordid details of  my deflowerication at the end.

Which did not happen, contrary to the post image, with the Wu Tang clan “en masse” (French for gang-bang.)

I wasn’t always the Happening Chick you see in my saucy gravatar.

saucy gravatar

saucy gravatar

I grew up on Staten Island, the forgotten borough.

The New York subway system doesn’t run there.

You get there via the Staten Island Ferry, which is like the Love Boat – only when you get off, you find out you have herpes.

I've always thought the ferry looked like the cover of a Doors album

I’ve always thought the ferry looked like the cover of a Doors album

I lived in one of the worst housing projects in all of NYC – The Stapleton Projects.

I had this lovely view just outside my front door.

So cosy- like Auschwitz.

So cosy- like Auschwitz.

We were one of the very few white families residing there.

Stapleton was made famous as the birthplace of the Wu-Tang Clan.

They were a hardcore gangsta rap group, back in the day when gangsta rap meant you had a prison tattoo and an unlicensed gun, not a trust fund and a beach house.

Staten Islanders believe the Wu Tang symbol is their own private bat signal

Staten Islanders believe the Wu Tang symbol is their own private bat signal

In case you’re wondering why we grew up there – my dad was a cop, and we moved there when the projects were built for city workers.

Unfortunately, dad died, leaving mom with six of us.

The projects morphed into Section 8 welfare housing, and mom couldn’t afford to move us out.

So there I was… a skinny nerdy white girl growing up in a gangsta rap video.

Pippi Longstocking meets Ghostface Killah.

Even I long to beat this child up.

Even I long to beat this child up.

I got my butt kicked on a regular basis.  Learned how to project fight – “hit them hard, fast, and FROM BEHIND.”

Being tough – awesome.

Feeling like an outsider your entire childhood – not so much.  I was desperate to find an escape.

So I read.

Constantly, because we were poor and books were available.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

I didn’t know it yet, but I was actually working on one of the defining characteristics of my life –

RAISING MY CONSCIOUSNESS.

At 9, I tried to wrap my brain around “A Wrinkle In Time.”

A bizarre science fiction masterpiece of Inter-dimensional time travel, quantum physics, and plucky heroine Meg Murray fighting the iconic battle of good vs. evil.

Meg – trapped and unseen in a family of brothers, wild curly hair, braces, glasses. too smart for her friends, alienated at a young age by her lack of patience for utter BULLSHIT.

She was ME. My literary doppelgänger.

Reading A Wrinkle in Time is similar to taking a hit of really strong blotter acid.

This book twisted my mind up to where 35 years later, it has still not fully recovered.

download

But in a GOOD way.

A New York City program allowed poor slum kids to obtain their working papers at 13.

Yes. Isn’t that enviable? Instead of attending rainbow parties at 13,

Yeah, No.

Yeah, No. Not this kind.

like the entitled brats where I now live, I was told,

“Happy birthday! Now get a job!”

My first job –

The Public Library. Surprise, surprise.

The library owned every banned, highly coveted  book – but did not circulate them.

The banned book has a longstanding and ludicrous history.

Did you know that the innocuous Where’s Waldo was banned?

Amongst those thousands of characters a tiny woman on the beach showed microscopic side boob.

Some degenerate with a magnifying glass and a propensity for comic book erections actually found this.

The library sequestered all illicit books away in a super-duper top-secret file named “Banned Books.

I cleverly unearthed these nuggets of literary rebellion.

And read every motherfucker in that file.

I discovered On the Road by Jack Kerouac. It’s an American classic of crazy adventure and freedom.

It’s positively riddled with drugs, jazz, drugs, sex, and drugs.

I tore through Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.

Naked Lunch? This isn’t really a novel; it’s a twisted series of disturbing, drug ridden, sexually explicit vignettes.

Burroughs wrote it while living in Tangiers, in a one-room apartment above a male whorehouse, strung out on smack and male prostitutes.

Awesome.

I’ve decided to go the next school board meeting and demand that they put these on high school reading list.

Naked Lunch must be made part of the new “Common Core.”

common-core

The ONLY reason to see “The Notebook.” There is no reason to read it.

We finally moved when I was in high school.  *sigh of relief*

Were you hoping for the happy ending?

Not. So. Fast.

Back in those days,  if you were “bright,” you got “skipped.”

The misguided educators actually put you a grade ahead with kids a year older, forgetting about social, emotional, psychological and physical (especially physical) development.

I also have an end of the year birthday, so I was almost 2 years younger than most kids in my grade.

Get the picture? No more scary gangsta projects.

Instead, we’re talking TRAINING BRA in the GYM LOCKER ROOM.

I think my pal Ghostface Killah did less damage to my psyche.

So, guess what I did to heal all those psychic hits on my ego?

Yep.  I read.

Alongside Holden Caulfield, I gave “phonies” the metaphorical finger.

I still do. Some things never change.

I found a new doppelgänger in Lorraine in The Pigman – zero self confidence, intense desire to write, compulsive pathological liar…

(Am I? There’s lots of speculation in the blog world on THAT one hehe).

I knew the loss and alienation of “Anonymous,” the 15-year-old author of Go Ask Alice.

SHIT GOT REAL WITH THIS BOOK, YO.

This book had been banned for its graphic depiction of homelessness, prostitution, rape, and a stint in a mental institution,

everything this girl endures once she becomes addicted to drugs.

Her family finally rescues her.

And then…the Epilogue.

The frickin’ Epilogue (SPOILER ALERT) tells us that 3 weeks later, she’s found dead of a drug overdose at her parent’s home.

I was shattered.

The only chance you have of surviving the pain of being different is to find like minded souls- even if they only exist in books.

The true gift is this – reading will raise your consciousness.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of letting society determine your values.

No one wants to be the one who doesn’t fit in.

I know – hell, I live that shit.

So, you can do/look/be/act like everyone else.

Or you can RAISE YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

And possibly make a difference in this world.

You can expand your mind, one book at a time.

Luckily for me, I shed the nerdy cocoon in college. Or maybe, it was just cool to be nerdy.

Either way  – in college, I really hit my stride and began my outward development into the deeply hip woman you now see before you.

Just remember – I created her.

One book at a time.

Oh, right!  The virginity thing.

I promised if you stuck around, I’d get into it at the end.

I lied, perverts.

Go read a book.

Were you a nerd, or a cool kid? Did you “fit in?”
What were your favorite books when you were growing up?
Talk to me.  I’m listening.

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