There was a time before seat belts and child safety seats, you know, when no one locked their doors and children walked or road their bikes to school. Henry F. Kite Elementary School was a couple of miles from our house. I road my bike or walked every day. Lunches were 25 cents and for a nickel you could get dessert. I was a “School Patrol Boy”; It was also a time before we knew the word “sexism.” In that roll I went to school early, stayed late and served as a crossing guard for others. It was cool; we wore badges and had long polls with red flags and we got to stop traffic. In the sixth grade I was the Captain of the patrol, the senior officer who made out the work schedule. I digress.
Just a couple of blocks out of my way, OK, two or three, there was a bread outlet store. They sold a bag of “Sweet-Sixteen” powdered sugar donuts for 25 cents and there was no tax on food in Florida. Every week I saved my dessert money for a Friday trip to the bread store. It was not a difficult decision, hard as brick brownies, burnt chocolate pudding, stale carrot cake, something they called butterscotch pudding, or a sack full of delicious donuts. Donuts won every time. Or for variety I could get two mouth watering honey buns for 20 cents which I liked even more but the donuts seemed a better buy. The honey buns were gone within three or four blocks. The doughnuts made the whole walk home a touch of heaven, one doughnut per block. The only catch was sneaking the bag into the trash at home without being seen. The fact that Momma usually shopped on Fridays helped me keep my addiction secrete.
I believe in healing, entire sanctification, killing the old man, and plucking the sin up by the root. I’ve cried and tried but I can’t get free. I’ve gone for months even two years without giving in to the temptation. The shame is more than I can bear. When I walk by them in Food Lyon I tell myself “the children are watching.” But then I’m alone, no one to help me and a voice whispers, “you haven’t seen any children in the store tonight.” And I tell myself, “I’ll discipline myself, just one or two a day. Jesus wouldn't condemn me for that. He knows I have needs." Mysteriously, I seem to always pick up two bags; It’s an accident, I promise. Standing in the checkout line I wonder what the clerk will think of me. If she asks what will I tell her – “I have grandchildren!”
The twelve step program is too puny. I need four more digits; Sixteen is such a sweet number. I am thankful my vice of choice is legal and cheap.
March 25, 2010