The spine on this one is too faded to photograph, especially in this morning's industrial gray light. I saw the film version of Titus, with Anthony Hopkins, before I read it. I remember it being very bloody.
When we left off yesterday I was about to take revenge on my parents for docking my allowance. I don't think I had started smoking yet, so this may have been the first real appearance of my addictive personality. Addictive personalities operate under circular logic. It looks something like the following.
Without an allowance I cannot play video games. Without video games I cannot escape reality. Without an escape from reality, I will have to face reality. If I have to face reality, I might go insane.
And so on...
I decided to steal the money back, a few dollars at a time, until I had recovered my losses. I went to my mother's purse one day to see if I could sneak a five dollar bill. When I opened her wallet I discovered that she was carrying hundreds of dollars in twenties. I decided to be bold and take one. I rode straight to the arcade, stopping at 7-Eleven along the way for a Big Gulp of Dr Pepper and some candy and to purchase a roll of quarters.
I spent the entire day playing video games.
Then I waited to see if I got caught. One day. Two days. Three days. My mother said nothing. So I tried it again. I took another twenty and went through the same cycle f waiting. Still she didn't suspect. Thus began a two year period in which I stole continually from my mother in order feed my video game jones. I did eventually get caught, but only because one of my brothers ratted me out. We were fighting about something and he had seen me take some money and to get back at me he reported it.
I realize now that the reason she never noticed was because she never knew how much cash she was carrying. My father's car rental business on K Street in DC came with a parking garage, which he operated as a cash business. I think he told the IRS that he used it only for parking his rental cars, when in fact he was running a lucrative operation and hiding all the money. What did not going into a savings account to pay for private schools and college went to my mother's wallet in the form of untraceable cash.
In other words, she didn't have to count it, so she didn't. And what mother would ever suspect her darling son of being a video game junkie-thief?
from Titus Andronicus
That we may hew his limbs and on a pile,
Ad manes fratrum, sacrifice his flesh
Before this earthy prison of their bones,
That so the shadows be not unappeased
Nor we disturbed with prodigies on earth.
Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,