Bold As Can Be


~ I am 8 ~

            My mother pulled up to Horace Drugs and shut off the engine. Then she mashed out her cigarette and turned to me. “There’s something you’re going to do in this store, girl, and you’re not going to like it. You’ll thank me for it someday though; trust me. It’ll keep you from growing up too timid and worrying about every little thing, which is the way you’re headed right now.” She sat still a moment and gave me a measuring look. “You’re going to walk into that store there, and you are going to get me a Melon Ice lipstick; only you’re not going to pay for it. Get it? You’re going to slip it inside this here pants pocket.” She patted my left leg. “Once you done that, you won’t be so afraid of everything else.”

            She paused, frowning at me. “Now don’t start bawling. It’s easy as pie. Kids and candy is what they watch for. An eight-year-old in the make-up aisle, who cares? Here’s what you do: you go to the candy by way of the makeup and—okay, forget the Melon Ice, just get me any old lipstick. Then you go and get yourself a Snickers or whatever, plain as day, and you pay for that like all’s right with the world. Here, take this quarter. Now get!”

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