Friday, July 11, 2008

Underwear and Bubblegum


Running away was Jenny’s idea, not mine. I mean, I loved my home. My Mom baked yummy things for dessert all the time, my parents were famous puppeteers (at least in Albuquerque), and I always had great birthdays and Christmases each year.

But Jenny didn’t feel so happy. She had convinced herself she had a wicked step-mother who treated her like Cinderella. So, one day she said, “Let’s run away.” She was the Alpha-female in our relationship, so I said, “Okay.”

We went back to respective homes to pack. In my five-year-old mind, the most important garment was underwear. I knew you had to have underwear to live the good life, so I dumped out my Little Kiddles bag (a tan plastic round job that zipped up and had a handle), and packed it full of underwear (and nothing else).

Jenny met me outside my house, and we walked down to Bob White’s Grocery Store a few blocks away. We needed sustenance, of course, so we combined our pennies and bought a healthy supply of bubblegum from the machine. Amply stocked, we stepped forth on our grand journey to freedom.

We made our way to the busy corner of San Pedro and Candelaria. Somehow we crossed San Pedro with no problem, but Candelaria was not so simple. We made it to the center median and stepped out into the street right in front of a huge RV. Fortunately, the RV stopped and we scrambled across and made our way South towards the mall. We were further from our houses than we had ever been by ourselves.

As we neared the mall, Jenny had a brilliant idea (well, it would have been brilliant had she thought of it earlier). She said, “Let’s go to Mrs. Camel’s, she’ll take us in!” Mrs. Camel lived about two blocks from where we lived, so implementing Jenny’s plan meant we had to turn around and go back the way we came.

We were walking up Colorado St., a block from our own houses when Jenny’s mother streaked by in her Kelly-green VW bug. She screeched to a halt, turned around, and stopped right next to us. My mom was with her, and both of them told us to get in the car immediately. The looks on their faces told us we were in big trouble (but, admittedly, I was relieved—being caught meant I could go back home).

As I remember it, I was sent to bed without supper. As my mom remembered it, she was so glad to have me back safe I wasn’t punished at all. I know Jenny didn’t get off so easily.

I unpacked my underwear and saved the bubblegum. I never tried to run away again, but whenever I pack for a trip, I still bring every pair of underwear I own.

1 comment:

Bezner said...

I know the underwear and bubble gum is a good story point, but the best line of this story, in my opinion, is the fact that your parents were famous puppeteers.

Have you ever told this story more elaborately?