Monday, April 25, 2005


Doesn't that sound like fun? Hey Adira, Hey Diane, Hey Liz...wanna come over and do some criminal mischief?

Criminal mischief is a pretty generalized, vague term, basically meaning causing trouble, but I suppose you already know that. Well, just yesterday, I saw an opportunity to cause criminal mischief rear it's handsome head, and I turned away...or did I?

As I came out of my apartment building in the morning (on my way to buy supplies to make french toast, for as you may or may not know, asians don't eat scones) and I saw it there, glistening ever so slightly underneath a layer of sludgy fish water. It was a NY state license plate. It made me think of breaking the law.

You see, my friend gave me a car a while back - a white cadillac. Right now, it's sitting in his yard in Long Island. It's a nice, older caddy with plush red seats and some rust around the tire arc thingys. He said I could just come and get it if I want to - but here's the catch - there are no license plates on it.

Now, the way my mind naturally works whenever any kind of opportunity arises is to go deviant, because obeying the law never did me any favors. As a matter of fact, obeying the law almost has always proven to be rooted in bureaucracy and hypocracy. So, now, my instinct is to do it whatever way I can, and as long as I'm not hurting anyone, the gamut of ways may or may not include breaking the law. I think that also may be a bi-product of growing up poor. (Though in all fairness to my parents, we were only poor sometimes.)

I left and got french toast supplies, and when I returned, there it was, sitting there, beckoning to me. Then, I heard it speak directly into my mind.

"Come on, Delfino. You know you want me. Pick me up."

"But you're covered in fish juice and some other black water and something dark and chutney like in consistency."

"Aw, come on, you pussy! There's no chutney to be had for miles. This here is oil, spit and rain water."

"But, I don't want to touch you. You're gross."

"Think of what I could help you accomplish. With me, you could get that car. You could get the car long enough to drive it to the DMV, or wherever you need to take me. You wouldn't have to tow me there. It could save you a hundred or more dollars. Think of what you could do with those dollars. Cocaine. Hookers. All the marshmellow fluff you can handle."

"License plate, stop it! Just stop it! I'm not picking you up!"

I walked past it and keyed myself into my building.

"You'll be back!" I heard the plate chuckling, a chance of demise appeared to be lingering in the forecast. I went inside and began to prepare french toast. I finished preparing the french toast. I ate the french toast. It was delicious. I did a bunch of other errands. I hooked up the two VCR / TV set-up in my living room. I tidied my home. I called a friend. I thought about the caddy. Later, as I came back out, I saw the plate again. It was even deeper into the muck than it had been before. The puddle seemed to have grown and almost enveloped the plate so that only it's very corner was still sticking out. This pleased me, because if any one else had designs on stealing the plate, they might be discouraged by the swamp-like sludge of the puddle. Or, they might have thought the plate disappeared. When you're into criminal mischief, you think that everyone else is zoning in on your crimes and plans of mischief.

I decided it'd be fine for me to leave it there for a day or two, while I decide if it's worth the help it could be to touch it. "I could get rubber gloves..." I thought to myself, but I thought it too loudly, and the plate heard me.

"Get some rubber gloves, then," it said. "You better hurry. The street sweeper will come for me. Another criminal mischief maker will see me and want me. You'll come and look for me, sweet tits, but I'll be gone."

I woke up this morning with the plate on my mind. Inanimate object - one, Delfino - none. I dreamed about it last night. The same scenario. I was out there looking at the plate, but it was imbedded into rock, like King Arthur's sword. "What should I do?" my ghostly dream self asked the plate. All of a sudden, an angel of god ascended onto me, and said "Everything will be alright." I asked that angel of god his name, and he said, "Satan."

Sometimes criminal mischief is a slow boiling process. It doesn't have to be all immediate, tucked into a half hour special like on Magnum PI, or NYPD Blue. Sometimes, it has to stew.
But, who doesn't love stew?

I'm a gemini, meaning, for every emotion I experience, there is an equal and opposite re-motion. So it wasn't long before I thought about turning myself in. I enacted out the fantasy in my head, and it discouraged me from following through with my plan.

ME: Hello, my name is Jessica, and I'm considering stealing a licence plate.
COPS: Really? Well, we're working on 327 triple homicides right now, but wrap it up, boys! We've got a stolen license plate confession. We'll be right over! (sounds of laughter, phone clicking down onto receiver)

Sometimes, you have to not think about what's right or wrong, but follow your heart.

My heart wants a car.

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