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Trivial Cruelties That Shatter Faith

Happy as a schoolboy, you, a schoolgirl, jump off the bus and start dancing down the driveway towards your house. In your right hand is a giant Hershey bar that you suckered some younger kid out of while at school. You can't wait to show it off to your sister and then eat every last bit of it, slowly, so that gets all over your fingers, your mouth, maybe even your clothes. It is a big candy bar.

Inside, your mother asks to look at it. She examines it awhile, reading the ingredients and nutritional information from the label. Finally, she pronounces that she has been doing some thinking (and saw this piece about children and diets on TV) and 'we will have no more candy in this house. I'm sorry.' You protest. You've had candy before . . . for years. No one suffered. You argue. 'Children need pleasure. All work, no play, etc. You get to drink wine.' No avail. The Hershey bar has been confiscated.

The next day you step sadly off the bus and drudge through the front door. Your sister sits licking her fingers on the sofa, a large Hershey wrapper on the floor. You rush to a back bedroom where your mother is shopping for cheaper car insurance online. 'My sister ate the candy bar! Did you know about this?' 'Well, I did some thinking about what you said yesterday. I think you were right. Children need their pleasures too. So, I gave it to your sister. No more candy ban.' With that, she tousles your hair and walks out of the room, feeling like a strong, yet flexible parent. You gape at the empty doorway, thinking of your stolen candy. Thinking of your hollow victory. You believe nothing. Joy is washed from you by your own triumph. Why try anything? Why care at all? The candy is nothing but an empty wrapper and you didn't even taste it and still got a stomach ache. You are now a child who will keep her pleasures secret, as pleasurable as that may be.




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post #116
bio: blaine
perma-link
2/1/2004
17:42

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