A Crime of Crayons

A Crayon Crime

It seemed in 1973 everyone in school had 64¬†crayons ‚Äď everyone ‚Äď except¬†me. On the day in question, desperation had clouded my judgement. It had corrupted my creative sensibility.¬†I was ten at the time and in dire¬†need of 64 colors. I had Crayola’s¬†24 pack which included colors for growing¬†robust apple trees, fluid blue skies and abstract¬†butterflies. It wasn’t enough. I needed¬†more pigment. I coveted¬†the¬†built-in sharpener too.

Crayola BoxOne day¬†while shopping with my mother and 2 other siblings, fate waxing¬†at my feet, divine intervention struck. On this¬†ominous morning, I glanced¬†down at the beige¬†store tiles. My disbelieving¬†eyes engaged my sleeping¬†brain. My little¬†fingers snatched up the crumpled¬†dollar on the floor. Much to my horror I discovered it was¬†one-half of a paper dollar, and the other¬†half was nowhere in sight.¬†Nothing mattered. My heart¬†was jolting¬†in 64 magnificent colors. My brain was a prism of planning. “Art cannot be stopped,”¬†my greying conscience defended.¬†While¬†Mom busied herself shopping and¬†shepherding my¬†two younger siblings around cans of tomatoes, I¬†cleverly rolled¬†the dollar into a cylinder.

There wasn’t much time. Grocery cart loading¬†for a¬†family of eight was nearly done. I told¬†Mom¬†I needed¬†the bathroom. I¬†flew to the school supply section, grabbed Crayola’s 64 box then¬†sprinted to the register¬†hoping to¬†make an express purchase. I handed the masterfully¬†rolled dollar¬†to¬†a young cashier. I didn’t know how much the crayons cost and I didn’t wait. I¬†grabbed my¬†fabulous box¬†and bolted¬†toward the exit doors.

In hindsight, I should’ve selected¬†the silver-haired cashier. The swift¬†employee¬†ran after me as¬†did my mother.¬†My crime was foiled on the spot. I had to return the crayons. I had to write a letter of apology. And, I was grounded.

So there I was stuck in my room with just 24 crayons and two weeks to think about all the colors I didn’t have.
Crayon Crime