Monday, June 06, 2005

LouAnn (by Liz) (for the stealing theme)

It wasn't that LouAnn liked to lie—it was more that she just couldn't help it. If someone told her about a fabulous vacation taken to Europe, LouAnn countered with her own fabulous vacation to Egypt. It didn't matter that LouAnn had never been further north than Kansas, further west than New Mexico, further east than Arkansas, or further south than San Antonio. LouAnn read voraciously and knew lots and lots of things about lots and lots of different places. When she felt a twinge of guilt for lying, she justified it by reminding herself that she intended to visit Egypt one day and certainly would do so as soon as possible.

One day LouAnn, who was taking an Intro to Psychology course at her community college, entered into a spirited discussion about that day's reading—compulsions. The red-haired freckled boy who usually sat at her left admitted to being obsessive compulsive when it came to cleaning his apartment. The ultra-skinny long-haired girl who sat on LouAnn's right intimated that someone she knew, not herself, of course, had a horrible eating disorder born of compulsions regarding food and her self-image. LouAnn nodded sagely and contributed her own compulsion to steal. This wasn't true. LouAnn's compulsion was not stealing, but lying, which made telling the truth about her compulsion rather difficult. Stealing seemed much more sophisticated than lying. Besides, she'd recently read an article in Glamour about compulsive stealing and felt she had enough facts to back her story.

Skinny was terribly interested in LouAnn's story, which would have worried most people who told such tremendous lies. LouAnn, however, seemed to enjoy the attention. She expounded on her "compulsion" after class as she and Skinny walked to the College Center. "It's horrible," she said, her lower lip quivering. "No matter where I go, I feel compelled to steal." Skinny was terribly sympathetic, considering her friend's compulsion regarding food, a problem, she assured LouAnn again, that she herself had never suffered from.

As LouAnn and Skinny weaved their way through the Market, the convenience store located on the first floor of the CC, Skinny gave LouAnn an encouraging smile. "Are you okay in here? Should we maybe go elsewhere, so you don't…um…in light of your problem?"

LouAnn sighed a sigh of one who constantly suffers. "I'll be alright." But even as she spoke, she remembered how the girl in the Glamour story found herself unable to resist stealing no matter where she was or who she was with. In order to add verisimilitude to her story, LouAnn felt it was imperative that she steal something—anything. Her face burning red, because after all lying was quite different than stealing, LouAnn picked up a Twix bar and pocketed it in her oversized sweater. She glanced around guiltily to see if Skinny had noticed, but she appeared to be immersed in reading the nutritional information on a bag of Doritos.

LouAnn selected a soft drink from the cooler and placed it front of the cashier. "One diet coke, please. That's all. Don't want anything else," she said, blushing furiously.

The cashier, apparently distracted with the textbook he had leaned against the cash wrap, barely looked up as he scanned the barcode on LouAnn's drink. "One-oh-nine," he said.

LouAnn pulled out a one dollar bill and meticulously counted out nine pennies. "There you go," she said, "one dollar, nine cents." The cashier took the money and resumed his studies and LouAnn stood at the doorway waiting for Skinny, who had abandoned the bag of Doritos and was now paying for an apple at another register.

"So were you okay?" Skinny asked LouAnn as they left the Market together.

LouAnn blushed, then sighed again. "I never am," she said pulling the Twix bar out of her pocket. And for once, LouAnn wasn't lying.

Comments:
Sounds almost autobiographical.
 
not so much, but now i love you for saying that! (liz)
 
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