I steal because

by Sje

I steal because people have taken things from me since I can remember, and no one will give any of them back.

Like when I was 10 and asked my father to watch as I sung “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and – in a detached bluntness I can only compare to that of a college advisor who suggests for you to stop setting your sights on Harvard or whatever “dream school” you’ve chosen – told me to stick to what I was good at.

All the times they said they were there for me. I could read their messages but where were their faces and hands?

Like when my mother – who told me she loved me so many times I stopped listening – left but was returned to us, not wanting to be returned, and took away everything I knew about her.

And when you, you clever man, found my heart where I had hidden it and carried it away in your hands, blood dripping down your wrists, leaving a blackened pink patch, a phantom feeling of being whole that screamed, How had you not seen this coming?

I steal because I can.

Because I float powerless through the avenues of my days, shuttled along roads and over bridges I don’t understand how are built, always looking at a screen that tells me what to think, down or straight ahead or sometimes up when I sit too close in the movie theaters.

I don’t know where anything I say or do goes. Into those black holes past the sky? Into the Internet? Into an ear and out of a head?

I steal because I think too little in this world is given.

When I tell the story, I am Robin Hood. Instead of taking gold from a rich man’s pocket, I take lip balm and underwear from all those who have forgotten the lesser part of the world and I give all the spoils to myself.

I deserve them. I deserve all of these things.

Oh, and it’s free. Free. That may be the beating heart of my sticky palms. Nothing, I promise you, feels as good as something that is free. Stealing is like spitting in the faces of everyone who told me and tells themselves that money can buy everything.

It is like leaving a tiny bruise.

If you can’t relate to this, I’m sorry for you, really. You have played by the rules while everyone else was cheating. You have never had the pleasure of saying fuck you to everyone who said you couldn’t.