Some people have to learn the hard way
and I'm one of them. Often my troubles
occur when I can't keep my mouth shut.
The toughest times in my life have been
those that I couldn't talk my way out of.
However silence is not always golden.
Rather the times when both I and those
involved were left speechless have been
beyond uncomfortable. Leaving a most
indelible impression on me. Those quiet
times always spoke volumes. And in the
end changed my life. So much so that
nothing more had to be said about them.
I was five when Mom stopped at
Krolick's to pick something up.
Errand finished, we got into the
car. Then Ethel saw the evidence.
A Chiclets box in my hand. And
knew it wasn't paid for. Ethel sat
quietly and stewed. The silence
was deafening. Then she opened
her door. came around and pulled
me out of the car. Handing me
two cents she led me across the
sidewalk. Opened the door. And
marched me down the aisle.
Then up the mezzanine stairs to a door that
read "Managers Office". Mother knocked,
Immediately a beleaguered man answered.
Ethel turned to her prodigal son and said,
"Gregory, is there something
you need to tell Mr. Krolick?"
In tears I confessed to my theft. Then handed
Mr. Krolick my two cents. He smiled, looked
at my Mother and said "Thank you." Then
we marched down that same aisle and out to
our car. On the drive home nothing was said.
Nor did we ever to discuss the incident again.
Oh and by the way... I've never stolen again!
I was seventeen and at a Friday night party
far downtown. I had told my parent's I was
sleeping over at a friend's. The last thing
I recall slurping big swigs of Tequila out
of a bottle with a worm in it. The next that
I knew, I awoke in a K Mart parking lot.
In the most far away of places - Danbury
Connecticut. Perfectly "parked" between
two yellow lines. However, I was laying
on the pavement sans any vehicle. Back
then there were no cell phones. And so
I wandered about the mall until I found
a phone booth. And called home collect.
Frankly I have no idea what I said on that
call. Post hanging up I stood and waited
hours as my father drove up to Danbury.
Upon his arrival, Dad pulled up, pushed
opened the car door, and motioned for
me to sit down. Then the veil of silence
fell. For the long ride home he said nada.
Staring at the highway with a blank look.
Upon arriving home, Mother dished out
a big lunch in the dining room. Again...
silence. And while that didn't keep me
from Tequila, I did learn a lesson. Which
was the silent treatment speaks volumes.