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One Day Among Many

One Day Among Many

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Published by Scott

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Published by: Scott on May 27, 2010
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05/28/2010

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One Day Among Many”
By: Scott Petty
There was this day, a long time ago, tucked away in the deep recesses of his mind, recalled quiteoften to the front of his thought over and over again. In the annals of his personal history, it was one of those pivotal days, or a moment that seemed to germinate many more curious days yet to be lived…Teenagers are curious creatures. They are people caught in a cross-section of life and they walkthrough it with eyes wide open but with minds that are mostly blank. There are always more questionsasked than answers given. It seems that the adolescent years are spent in writing all those questions, inquestioning everything outside and inside. After a couple of decades pass people seem to becomecontent to let the questions simply arise. By the time the twenties end people spend almost no timelooking for new questions but only to find ways and means. They finally understand how to use theirtime more wisely. The questions will organically crop up so they only address the significant ones,disregard the insignificant, and rarely draft their own. Sufficient is the evil unto the day thereof.But only the passage of time will bring that calm and unless that ‘teen decade is handled withsome measure of care the future arrives in fragments. In that case, people end up spending the rest of their lives in an attempt to assemble the pieces into a somewhat coherent picture. And maybe they canpatch is up and pass the cracks off as artistic lines called ‘character.’He sat on the edge of his bed at the beginning of another tired day after a night of little sleep.He thought about that day again. He wondered (as he often did) if that historic day was not the momentthat his life steered away from harmony and plunged into discord. There was no other day like it. It wasthe head. Or maybe it was just another symptom and not the cause? There he was: almost thirty andasking questions. He had to question it though. It felt like the start. If he figured out where it began, if hequestioned it enough, if he prodded and poked at it with doubt and skepticism, then, he thought, all theproblems would unravel and he would be able to simply rethread the fabric of his life into a morecomfortable existence.
 Just that one day,
he thought to himself as he struggled to shake sleep from hiseyes,
and I would be living another kind of life.
He simply found it impossible to forget.His mind sauntered back to 1996…It was at a time when local record stores were still prolific and offered vinyl and cassettes.Compact Discs had just reached their hay-day. Portable CD players were a status symbol. The internetwas still a luxury ergo the protocols that made the digitalization of media standard had not as yet coatedthe cultural landscape. iTunes, mp3’s: these things were not around during that time. Everyone still hadfilm in their cameras.On that day, in that year, he entered a local bookstore next to an adjoining record store. TOWERBOOKS next to TOWER RECORDS. He had not entered alone though. He had been followed into the storeby an older brother—who was about a year and half older—and their father…As he sat on his bed and remembered the scene again he was still unsure about what broughtthem to that store; why he had walked in with his brother and father. Maybe there was no particular
 
reason; a chance stop just to see what was being sold? But they were there and that was all thatmattered because that was the memory that remained with him untarnished year after year…It so happened that the trio broke company at one point during their visit. They parted andscattered themselves among the cases of books. The store had been laid out thusly: upon entering apatron first laid eyes upon aisles carved out by book cases approximately five or six feet tall; to the rightof the entrance a magazine rack was laid out. It was an “L” shape which hugged the wall. It turned thecorner of the store and ran for about six more feet until it ran into the book cases which lined the sideand back walls of the store; these shelves were taller. There was an aisle about four feet wide betweenthe magazine rack and another “L” shaped book case which housed novelty and joke books. It was aboutfour feet high. Upon the left side of the store the children’s section was placed with various cases, shortand scattered before a bank of tall windows which looked outside.There he was wandering about the various sections. Of the three he was the one with the greatlove affair for books and the written word. He inspected each spine and exposed cover and tried towrite the story in his mind based on the titles he saw. He eventually emerged from the forest of books.He came out facing the magazines. A cursory glance made the whole thing appear to be a huge collage.From where he stood the magazines met with the book cases along the wall. The magazine rack wasanother five feet long past the corner. The magazines stacked there were of various interests andniches: tattoos to dogs; motor-cross to politics. The rack was two-tiered so below eye-level there wereeven more publications to behold. But the display underwent an abrupt change. This change happenedabout three feet from the corner of the store. A dark plastic panel leapt up and ran from the top to thebottom of the upper shelves. Other dark, foggy, plastic panels were there. Every shelf in this segregatedsection had them. They stood just high enough to cover up the magazines, everything except the title. Itlooked like a prison for all the naughty publications. This adult section took up approximately four feetof wall space.His curious glance rested upon the forbidden material. He made a soft attempt to tear his eyesaway. He grew up in a pious home with parents who were devout in their faith. He had a lot of thatinstilled in him growing up and although it was but a mere candle compared to his parents’ roaring fire,he had some of that faith in his heart. But what his eyes dared to consume his faith determined to beforbidden. He was not a boy merely curious to scrape at the first layer of sin. His desires dove past that.This desire was even more condemned by the faith he practiced. His desire was toward men. His eyessought for the opportunity to see their naked forms; he sought to enjoy their shapes and worship theirbodies.An inexplicable longing to consume images of the male body had slowly sprung up in his mind. Ithad been an issue that had lingered in the shadow of his thought for a large part of his life, but until thatday it was not an issue that had a definite form. He never knew what to call it; he didn’t even reallyknow that it had been there until that day. He let the silent longing roll out on that day though andpursued it further than he had before.But he thought that the pursuit would not be appropriate to begin with his father and brotherhanging around in the store.So it was that the father and brother had joined this anxious boy near the front of the store.They had tired of books and indicated that they were going to adjourn to the record store next door toview the music and movies, so by some fortune—or misfortune—they left him to continue browsingalone. Alone: it was a blessing and a curse where he was free to make the choice. He could satiate the
 
burning curiosity within and possibly enslave himself to the desire which he doubtfully would fullyembrace or he could rip himself away and then his faith might ignite and roar into full force.As soon as he was left alone his eyes were restored to those magazines and one publication inparticular.Over the dark, foggy plastic—which he assumed had been placed there to protect innocenteyes—he saw it. The top of his head, and just a hint of his eyes, had been left unguarded. Under thewords PLAYGIRL were words that were printed in a pale royal blue: “
90210
” and then immediatelybelow was the fateful name in magenta:
“Brian Austin” 
with his last name in green. That was it. He hadbecome ensnared. He took a glance around his settings; practically alone. The clerk was not immediatelypresent. Other patrons—there were at most two others in the store—were off in another corner of thestore. It was an opportune time, so he stole to the rack where his target sat; his eyes never left the onesthat stared up back from the cover. He reached a trembling hand out and grasped the magazine from itsperch. Furtively, he slipped it under his shirt. He retreated to an empty section near the back of theshop.That part in the story where the hero goes through the great and eternal struggle between hisevil nature and the good seemed to be missed on that day. It’s often that in conflicts of ethics or moralsgood and evil (right and wrong, nice and mean, or whatever other words are used for the opposingforces) will strive as the hero contemplates. He deliberates on the pros and cons and considers on theconsequences of a certain course of action. When this boy reached for that magazine there was a totallack of deliberation; there was not even a pause for consideration. The element of theft had not evendeterred him nor wrought upon his mind a second of hesitation. Maybe he had already decided beforehe entered that store, but whatever the reason he grabbed that magazine without a pause. And once itsglossy cover had been secured within his anxious grasp, he knew that it would be going home with him.It was an absolute truth. There was no room in his mind for concerns about being discovered; gettingcaught was not a fear that registered. He only had a mind to satiate his flowering curiosity.He snuck off to the back of the store with the ill-gotten magazine hidden under his shirt. Oncehe stood in a shadowed corner near the back he adjusted his loot so that it sat securely in the elastic of his underwear. The magazine took to the shape of his body; it wrapped easily around his side and fadedaway like just another layer of meat. He looked up and saw that he remained alone. There was no oneto be seen as he passed through the store with his arm hanging casually by his side.As he maneuvered toward the exit, his eyes were locked upon the door. The store and all theobjects and therein became mere streaks of undistinguishable colors. He pushed the doors open andhurriedly trotted back to his father’s car.He never looked back. In his mind there was never a second guess or a doubtful glance. He onlyhad an eye and a mind for his destination. He wondered how the bootie was to be smuggled into thehouse.The car was locked so all he could do was stand there in heavy contemplation about the feast hewould soon engage in. His curiosity burned fervently inside. It ranted and roared to be freed. He keptthe anticipation in check as he waited for his father and brother’s return from the record/video store.They soon emerged from TOWER RECORDS. It felt like hours to him, but it was but mere moments fromwhen he fled TOWER BOOKS. They looked pleased. He felt dark. Dad unlocked the doors.He moved into the car. The magazine shifted against his body. He felt its corners poke at hisbody like an ugly reminder of where he was going with this endeavor. It was not down a floral strewn

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