▴ 10 months ago
by Miranda July
I don’t remember the first time I did it, but I remember the first time I got caught. I was a freshman at U.C. Santa Cruz, the store was called Zanotto’s, the item was Neosporin. I took it out of its packaging, bent down as if to scratch my ankle, and then wedged the tube of triple-antibiotic ointment into my white ankle sock. When the guard grabbed my arm, I was so scared I peed on the floor. As we waited for the police to come, I had to watch a janitor clean up my pee with a mop. I was taken down to the station and formally arrested: fingerprints, mug shot—they really wanted to teach this nineteen-year-old, transparent-dress-wearing punk a lesson. The lesson I learned was that I was now legally an adult, so I didn’t have to worry that my parents would be called. I was free—even my crimes belonged to me alone.