Pencil, Theft, and My Mom

The Pencils

I was in a store recently and was pulled up short by a display of giant pencils. These pencils were two and half feet tall and two inches in diameter. They were magnificent. I stood there and stared for a while & did what we all do nowadays. Yeah ! you guessed it right, I pulled out my camera and took a couple of photos. Then I started touching and feeling. Oh, I wanted. Gods I wanted. The lust for these pencils was incredible. Then my brain drifted as it is wont to do . . . back to kindergarten and little me.


Precious Jewels this is the name of my kindergarten, (I even roll my eyes as I write this name). School is school. I go. I wear a little blue pinafore type uniform, white shirt, white shoes and socks. We are colonized little bastards. What can I say? Things go along as well as can be until the day of the pencil theft.

Penny is the name of the luckiest girl in the world. Everyone else, including me has the same old yellow pencil. But no! Not Penny! She has a glorious red and white striped pencil. From the first moment I see that pencil, I want. I have to have it. It is going to be mine. So, I fucking just take it. I wait till she isn’t looking and I steal it and take it home. (I should have known what would happen).

And the Pencil Story continues..

There I am, fondling my new pencil that evening and here comes my nosy fucking mother asking, ‘Tess, where did you get the pencil?’ (Now I wish I had lied. But, I can’t lie when I am asked a direct question. Anyone who actually knows me thinks this is the funniest thing about me. A good example is this, I get pulled over for speeding – Officer asks, ‘Do you know why I pulled you over?’ Me, ‘Yes, officer. I was speeding.’ Their mouths always fall open in shock. On a positive note, they must love honesty, ‘cuz they never give me a ticket. But I digress). So I stupidly tell the truth, ‘I stole it from Penny.’ My mom takes the pencil from me and says nothing. She just looks at me. A few days go by and I feel pretty good. No punishment. No nothing. But then Monday comes around and with it general assembly with parents and all.

My Mom

Monday morning my mom wakes me, dresses me all motherfucking spiffy and shit. I must have been the nattiest, little fucking bastard in the whole country that day. (You know at this point, my stupid, little brain was still not kicking in that something was wrong). Then my mom says, ‘I am taking you to school today,’ and I know something is horribly, horribly wrong in my world.  In my world, my mom worked almost every day of my life. One of my siblings always took me to school. Always.

Fast forward to the moment when my mom drags me up on stage, takes the pencil out of her purse, and gives this little speech, ‘My daughter, _____, stole this pencil last week. She is here today to explain why she did it. To say she is sorry for doing it, and most importantly to promise all of us that she will never steal anything, ever again.’

You better fucking believe I did it all like she said. I was six years old.

-Tess Bacchus


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