I stole chocolate. Not just any chocolate. High priced, quality chocolate. I’d intended to do a skip but I tried one store and got a ‘lo siendo’. Realizing everything (well, not everything) wouldn’t be shutting till the wee hours of the morning, ok, I’m over exaggerating, wouldn’t be shutting till later that night… coz I mean, goodies? sat night? they gotta be on a roll. I decided to give it up and go.

Ramblas was torture. People left right and center shuffling along at a snails pace. And if you weren’t stuck in this line of site you were holding on for your dear life as youths weaved in and out of each other barging through like there’s no tomorrow. Eventually, thank god, they’d run into something, or someone, and look back with embarrassed eyes. Ashamed of themselves, coz they kept on running into walls after numerous belittling warnings.

I was looking for an accordion, but a shop sign said ‘chocolate’. It was closed, but it still did its job. The accordion search wasn’t going so well. All the shops I was after were closed or closing and only the bling punk rock stores remained. So, chocolate, hmmm, yes. Maybe I could find some big corporate supermarket and make my steal there. I looked round and searched… nothing. Just small Paki run seven elevens with refrigerator lights and security watchdogs. Those guys are well on alert. Standing around doing absolutely nothing, staring into blankness, and working all sorts of hours. They’d have to be puffed up on something.  I’m sure they get people making passes at them all day long. So with that, all my options dissipated into nothing oozing sorrowfulness onto the dirty used floor. No, no, I mumbled. I’d be too nervous from the get go. So I decided to leave and stumbled my way back to the train station… however, half way to my goal, smack bang in the middle of the mess, a ‘buzz’ appeared. Palettes of people were waving in of it and I was getting sucked into its uplifting atmosphere. Suddenly like an eggbeater I was whisked through what can only be described as… the edge of something channeling. I let myself slink off its precipice into the riding blue wave that bumped and ground until I popped out like a corkscrew in a wine bottle. POP! I regained my bearings and took a look around to see where in the world I’d ended up. Glorious, it was heaven; if it wasn’t heaven it was heaven here on earth. A yuppies food market. Woo! what good deeds brought me here? Who knows but i could thank my lucky stars coz by now, things seemed to be looking up. And take a wild guess what was staring back at me. Chocolate! Lots and lots, and lots of it. Truffles, roches, liqueurs full house and the wagon. And the people, they were just so busy! Scooping and scooping little bite sized pebbles and wrapping them up into shiny plastic pieces. The workers were toiling and toiling away with not a minute to lose not even to wipe their sweating foreheads. I could see they were running the same old rat race. What we all now call: Groundhog Day.  So without a quick second thought I made action… SCOOP! One truffle had heard my call and reached out and touched my hand. Wow. It was so easy. I just couldn’t stop at that. I wanted to bring something back, bigger and better for everyone to share. Eleven people in a self-sustaining household deserve some chocolate too. So, I kept on walking determined to lift my game plan. I had to sharpen my skills, get know what know what I was knowing until another truffle appeared erasing itself by feasting on my eyeballs. Only this time, it was a tinsy bit bigger. ‘yum yum yum yum’ I chanted like the human voice of a pacman shuffling my feet and edging closer and closer to the guy in front of me so that I was so close that I was breathing down his neck. SCOOP! I had a touchdown! (Vivacious applause) And with growing confidence I was making moves with the hands some kind of hero from a kung fu film, or hip hop slam show. Now I was onto transferring the goodies. They moved down the line and I was a smooth operator fixing them into my elusive factory made pocket. Ok, so I had two truffles, that’s enough for me but still not enough to share. I wanted to fry bigger fish. I made a loop round to scope my territory. I had options. There were at least two more chocolate stores in close vicinity that I hadn’t even hit. The first had a big mamma standing hawk position bustling about within its chocolate and nutty glory. The second had big blocks just standing there in the middle of nowhere waiting on its edges screaming like neglected children moaning to be picked. I nearly took one immediately but then stopped myself, paused for a moment and pondered… no… no…I’m just not ready… It was still too big a fix. I was Loco. I twirled around and kept the rhythm in my pace and soon I was back to where the big ol mamma was except this time I could through see through her nutty goodness. I fancied my eyes on a cookie and waited till she was occupied. The store was sad as she had a lot to do so it didn’t take time for me to blend in with the prospective customers. I leaned over and…SCOOP! One big cocoa sized cookie melting in my hands ‘AH AH’ I cacked, with the slight of hint of devilishness. I’m sure one of the by be gones saw me but nope, not one of them dared to budge. I made my move so quickly that my little legs skedaddled across the floor like a sketch out of a loony tunes clip. ‘Phew’ I sweated. I’m back outta trouble, here in the safety of the fruit and veg. I grabbed my breath and tried to stabilize, body poised and mind at ease as if I was manning the high board in a diving championship. Straight ahead of me were the blocks (chocolate blocks that is, if your following my story). I made sure to embrace normality manning my poise and owning my strut. I looked up only in the second of time when I passed through the doors, and the woman was busy serving WEE!!! (inward excitement) I can…SCOOP! And just like that, again but now I’d got a whole damn block. Man, that must have been so expensive, I thought. I quickly shoved it under my jumper and tried to look like a real pro. It didn’t last long as I felt like a phony from the beginning. So I grabbed it back out of the place and slipped it into my bag the same way as if I’d purchased it. As I re-run the scene over in mind I met disbelief. It was just so simple. I walked in, picked it up, walked out. I didn’t have to reach down, jump over or around, duck dive, or slander. There was no mission impossible and I didn’t have to play the damsel in distress. Just SCOOP and I was on my way. Unbelievable. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I was beaming like Buddha himself had sat down beneath a tree and become enlightened behind my eyes  exploding beams of light all around me. I rolled around in my truffly goodness, which twisted and turned between my fingers. And when I went to eat, I even stopped, maintaining my abstinence. Better wait till I’m fully out of arms way, I lectured and back on the street, I played.

In amongst the junction I took the satisfaction of devouring my first treat, on the train platform I nibbled away on my second, and on the way home I couldn’t help but laugh at all the brown stains over my clothes. I was covered in cocoa. A clear culprit and nobody knew. The master of perception he he he he. Just think, how would I have denied it? ‘No sir that’s not chocolate, I’ve got shit on my hands!’ It wasn’t until I got home that I came to question my actions. Hmmm, I wasn’t sure. Was I right wrong, good or bad? Who knows? I’d hoped to steal from a big fat corporation but this place, well; they could have been working for themselves. I dismissed this thought as its sting went into my belly. They were definitely making a killing with the chocolate, and one truffle here and there wouldn’t cause them too much grief. I left my indifference intact and went to set it aside beside me. But just as I was about to lay it down it lurched out and took hold of me. How was I to explain it all!? What would I say?! What would they think?! I didn’t want to boast about it and come across a tool but at the same time I didn’t want to be ashamed of what I’d done. Then I remembered Eloi’s words ‘you’ve got to be proud about what you do’. I didn’t feel ashamed or proud just happy. I got the chocolate and I was able to provide. Come to think of it, I think I felt proud, ashamed, happy, I think I felt it all and how can you put that into words? I couldn’t lie and say that I’d found it somewhere else and I couldn’t not share it all hide away scoffing it down myself. That would definitely be all wrong. I was mixed up like a salad bowl with no dressing. And in this state I had to do something. I had to make amends. So I did what I could only do, set myself an expectation I could break. Pledged myself that I wouldn’t bring it up. And if it happened to be addressed, I’d say something random, vague about the Ramblas.

I finish my writing and look up to see a bunch of chocolates shuffling in a little boy’s hand. He plays with them for a little while then shoves them back into his mother’s shopping bag. We have something I common. What with the swing rides and running around after chocolate I must be becoming more and more like a child. Is this a bad thing? I don’t know, but when you look up to see a train guard right in front of you with a muzzled dog with black beady eyes no wonder a dart of concern shoots through you into the veins of our blood. Does he know? Does he smell the chocolate? These thoughts come and go like the stars, usually so fast to barely notice. And the next time I look around I see a great big group of girls, dressed up, and each carrying a designer shopping bag. I’m reminded again of why it is the way it is. As I turn to face the girl sitting next to me (whom earlier spent careful minutes patiently painting her face) her wearisome eyes tell me that we are just the same. With bright red lips and perked curled eyelashes she stares out into the darkness. Desperately trying to fit in.


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