November 5th, 2009
It’s a strange thing to be reminded of the fact that you exist and that you leave footprints in the world. I had thought writing for the newspaper was a game, something that happened only in my head. Only rarely did I get feedback that let me know someone was reading my words. Now I had gotten my own mother in trouble with my words, and I was in a panic.
First, I did what anyone would do, I ate. I opened all the bags of potato chips (purchased by my mother) and devoured a handful of each, leaving crumbs all over the floor. This did not relieve the churning in my stomach. In fact, the churning got worse. Briefly, I thought of calling my father. But I was sure I would get deeper in trouble, not less.
I went outside and, with no plan in mind, got on my bicycle. I asked the bike what to do: Ride, it said. Okay, I thought. So I rode. I asked the school where I had gone to kindergarten: Too late, I heard it say. I asked the school where I had gone to grade school: Too bad, the nuns all chanted. I found myself riding north and west, past my high school (which had no response at all). I was close to the building where my mother worked. It came to me in a flash: I would go there and save her job. I would be the hero. I would fix things, like a true Do-It-Yourselfer, in the tradition of my family.