And then we

by avocadoben

Two movies with a cartoon in between. That's how it worked when I was a kid. For a buck, or less, I suppose, no, scratch that, it musta been less than a buck. Heck, it couldn't ‘a cost that much because I had to scrounge pop bottles to even get to the movies. Three cents for a twelve ounce bottle; five for a quart. That's a lot of bottles, too. Especially when you ‘re stealing ‘em outta Mr. Burnett's garage.

Dark nights were best for sneaking bottles. The kind of nights we used to rip Christmas lights off houses. James Pickett, he was great at it. Heck, if he had to, he'd climb up on the roof to steal ‘em. Wrap a loose end of wire around his hand and jump. Like a zipper, a whole string of ‘em would tear right off a house. He'd run down the street dragging the bulbs behind him. We'd run too, listening to the bulb blow up like firecrackers.

Anyway, if we were lucky, Burnett's dog would be asleep when we'd show up.  If not, I'd feed it sleeping pills I got from Webster's dad's bottles. He had hundreds of ‘em sitting around the house. Pills, that is, not bottles. I figured he'd never miss ‘em. Far as I know, he never did. Anyway, I coated ‘em in peanut butter. The dog liked ‘em, too. Got to the point where he'd slobber himself when I showed up. One time he ate too many or something cause he died. I was sorta sad, but mostly figured the dog got what he deserved.  He shouldn't ‘a ate so many.

The cops came and asked a bunch of questions. I lied and said I don't know nutt'n. They threatened me like usual and said I'd go to Juvie, but they can't do nutt'n if you keep your mouth shut. And I kept my mouth shut, too. Besides, what was I gonna do? Sell out Bainz? No way. He'd kill me. No kidding. He'd smash me like we did that one kid. I don't want to ever end up like him. I think about him sometimes. So, anyway, I kept quiet and people forgot about the dog. Besides, it was only a dog.

After that, Burnett moved. Had a big garage sale before he left. Said we couldn't show up, so we fixed him. He loved his grass, so we burned a hole in it. The cops came, but we knew they would, so we got some Beaners from school to do the burning. Cost us a lot, but it was worth it. Anyway, when the cops showed up we just told ‘em we didn't do nuttin. They couldn't do nuttin about it either. The day Burnett moved, we stood in the street and clapped.

Problem was, after he left, we had to steal from the old lady at the end of the block. My mom told me her husband died so I figured it'd be easy to take her stuff. I went over there one day to check it out. Her windows were filled with crosses and pictures of Jesus. Anyway, the garage door was open. Open! Can you believe it? Made me wonder why we even bothered with Burnett. But he got scared and moved. I told you he moved, right?

Anyway, the day I showed up to look the place over, the old lady came out of her house with her cane. I thought she was gonna beat me with it like my old man, but she didn't. She set down the cane and went back inside. Then brought out a plate of cookies. I ate a bunch. I figured, why not? I sure wasn't gonna get cookies at home. She talked about God or something while I ate. I noticed she had loads of bottles.