Here is my guilty plea and my playlist for the story. I committed a crime; a victim-less looting. Before you sentence me, understand why I did it and why I’ll do it again. He made me do it.
It was the fall of 2009, Obama and I were spring chickens. While he held down America, I was blissfully recessed at a snooty study abroad program in London – unaware of the Great Recession. It was the age of printed MapQuest directions, “Skype” headsets with attached microphones, and a horny 20-year-old me. The string of crimes occurred while 19-year-old Onfigliacio and I spent a long weekend together in London. When I lived this, it all passed unremarkably. Back then Pluto and I took our place in the Solar System for granted. Ten years on, I look back at that weekend with amazement. We just headed out the door, unaware of how good we looked and how good we had it.
Who made me do it?
Before he became a poster boy for domestic bliss, Onfagus led me to Where the Wild Things Are. We grew up in the same lily-white Jersey suburb. After curtsying his way through a Catholic high school, he moved to Madrid. There he hit a second wave of Europeanized late puberty that transformed him from a lumpy criminal to an impassioned blonde Mediterranean man – fluent in Spanish, wine, the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, and self-rolled cigarettes.
During his first summer in Madrid, the cold saxony of New Jersey melted off his heart. Liberated, he sunbathed his manboobs in bagged wine. He was a nightclub promoter at Madrid’s infamous Royale. He embodied all that is humane in hedonism. He’d sleep under a bridge, eat sushi off a naked woman, get beat up by bouncers and gypsies, and shuffle home in Centro’s morning light. With each story, my small-town hero, my dream, my Ondrayaz grew larger than life. In November 2009, he would bring his world to me.
Before the crime
The confession begins when Onwiz’delo-ade-zé tubed himself to the stoop of my dorm room sometime before or after sunset. After he dropped his backpack, I introduced him to the merciless patch of floor he would sleep on and my friend Luke. Semi-immediately, Luke and I followed Onfitz-Gibbon to a boutique bar. There Onfagoatsi’s online acquaintances were hosting a private birthday party. Onpimsdale met great people on the internet. As a 20-year-old house mouse, I’d only been inside a few bars during my extensive and important life. Going to a bar for a private party sounded like a wild rumpest.
We intruded into a small dark room lined with black sofas, five beautiful young men, and five beautiful young women. Onscriptsdelo introduced Luke and I to his cyber friends-of-friends. He passed us a flute of the 40-dollar-a-bottle prosecco they were sharing. Sheltered and ignorant, I assumed myself into a frenzy. I imagined that the bottles were filled with expensive champagne and that Wizpig was the looking glass that led to Wonderland.
After small talk and dancing while seated, the birthday girl made the mistake of inviting us back to her house to continue the party. I zipped up my black H&M jacket and followed the celebrants to a multi-million-dollar white townhouse in South Kensington. In the four months I’d spend in London, these were the only young Brits I met and youthfully wronged.
Our host led the group to a sort of hang out basement, with a kitchen attached to a living room. The British lads left to play drunken football in the garden. The girls followed them outside. We footballless Americanos were left by ourselves in the kitchen. All of this could have been different if I understood sports.
What he made me do
This is when Pigma, Luke, and I experienced singularity – “Let’s take the booze”. Directed by OnCasio, We moved with uncommon grace and unified purpose – as if we had rehearsed since childhood to escape the Soviet Union by winning a visa lottery for synchronized swimmers. We moved all the bottles of prosecco and cartons of beer from the fridge to the stairway. Thrilled by thievery, we saran-wrapped the girl’s birthday cake and put it atop our plunder pile.
We’d agreed without words to hide the loot under a parked car in front of the house. We’d disguise our lifting as going outside to join the lads for football. Once the goods were under the car, we’d return to the garden empty handed to say goodbye. Once the lads turned their eyes back to the ball, we’d carry off the goods.
And all the Whos in Whoville wouldn’t have Christmas anymore.
Our Grinchy plan worked. We carried off two bottles of prosecco, a 24-pack of Stella Artois, and a saran wrapped American football made from the girl’s birthday cake.
In the clear, we threw off our shirts and sang through the November night air back to our villainous plush dorm room hide-out. We minions bowed to our own Bernie Madoff. The loot was worthless to us, the money was in the thrill. We gave away the beers to people standing in front of the bars we passed. We forgot the cake deep in the fridge.
“Your honor, I’m baffled by the bazaar-o cruelty of stealing the girl’s birthday cake. Only a master mind like him could hijack our better angels and turn us into thieves.
He made me do it – my Andreas.”