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All My Loves (part 1): how I committed a crime, made the papers & got away with it

01 May

If you read old poems and texts – whether Scots or English ones – you’ll see that the word “love” was previously used to mean any kind of attraction. Hence the phrase “my love is pure” (ie you’re just after one thing). I used to read Lines of Life –(an anthology of women’s poetry from hundreds of years ago to today, edited by Germaine Greer) on the bus to uni, or write poems in my notebook. I was always writing. It’s like a compulsion. Anyway, in that book it’s obvious that “love” is sometimes used to mean what we’d call “like” or “attraction”. So, that explains the title of this post. I’m only going to include the dramatic or interesting bits, of course – from me aged 12 running away from 5 police cars after a standoff with my boyfriend’s girlfriend went wrong, to trying to force a girl to wet herself aged 14 and preparing for a life in the USA with a polyamorous dom. This post was originally going to be titled “All My (blonde) Loves: how blonde Americans are all out to screw me (but sadly not literally)”. But despite being funnier, it’s a bit bitter and too influenced by Kane, Roland and Lynne. (More on Lynne later – she might get a post of her own, actually. Kane did.)

At age 4 or 5 I would kiss this black-haired same-age boy and we said we would marry when we were 20. Our parents thought it was cute; I’d kiss him in the playground. I’ve always had a thing for black-haired guys.

I was 8 years 11 months when the Calamity James strip oin the Beano awakened a feeling of wild excitement in me. It was in a supermarket in the late Nineties. Yeah, even from the first, I was aroused by violence. I drew comics and wrote stories about boys from then on – I was always writing stories anyway. At age 9 and 2 months I drew a comic at school about a boy having his bum bitten by dogs and burned with hot frying pans, stabbed with needles and stuff like that. I went to the front of the classroom and showed it to my teacher. My teacher was a young dark-haired guy. He said it was good, which was probably true as I’ve always been good at drawing (but rubbish at anything musical).

After that I did spanking comics and spanking stories which included burning, spiking and toryire.

The first laddie I fancied was a good-looking blonde boy in my class. I was 11. Some other boys fancied me but I was after the one I couldn’t have. (This would turn out to be the story of my life.) I soon moved on to fancying other boys. At 11/12 I had twice fought boys I fancied because it gave me pleasure (it was normal in the school for similar-age kids to arrange to fight just for fun).

The Sam story

This is the story of how 5 police cars were called to a shopping centre because of a 12 year old’s pursuit of the boy she fancied. Unlike my previous crushes, this was more real – rivalry, revenge, and the first appearance of the personality I still have now. (Though I’m nicer now of course.)

In my high school there was this 15 year old lad called, let’s say, Sam. He was blonde. Lots of lassies wanted to go out with him. I was a first year, he was in third. My friend told me she’d fancied him but when she told her auntie, she’d said “he’s your cousin but dinnae tell naebdy.” I was 12 but I sometimes hung around with the 15 year old girls and I invented a game of calling the older boys and pretending I was calling from “the prostitution agency”. I could keep up the pretence for 20 minutes and more, saying “you called about an hour ago and spoke to Shirley, you ordered one of our girls? To-” and I’d make up an address or a meeting place. The older girls had a go too, but it was usually me with the phone’s speakers turned on so they could all hear. I was the best at it.

Profile of Sam:

Initiator: Him

Length of chase [refers to me trying to get him]: About 3 weeks

Result: Unsuccessful

Conclusion: Concluded by revenge

Sam hung out with these girls and sometimes we spoke. I’d probably pranked him, too. He flirted with me and showed me his arse (in the playground, in full view of everyone). He used cannabis and at the time I despised “druggies” as I called them, but a druggie boyfriend sounded kinda cool.

What follows happened after I’d just turned 13 and is re-typed from my cute furry blue diary, which I still have:

“I went to buy my first CD – Let Go [by Avril Lavigne] and then a single, When I See You [by Macy Gray. Still got it]. Well, then I see the Girls and, as promised, Sam. I remember when he hugged me – it was today, Thursday 8 May […] he cuddled me and I stroked his back, and I loved it.

Last week he felt my bum and put his arm around me and I laughed and said he would have to impress me first, and gently took his arm off my shoulder. I mean, we’d been talking for five minutes.

[A lot of boring stuff about me and Sam talking and all of us wandering around the shops]

I say “You could have me. I have much more to offer.”

“Would you have sex with me?” he asks. “No, but [apart from that] I’ll go as far as you want,” I say. [Worth noting that I fantasised often about getting him drunk at a party and having sex with him – not that I’d ever tasted alcohol].

[We all go to McDonald’;s and Sam’s “fat, lunatic” sister appears. We leave McDonald’s and are either in or approaching the shopping centre].

Sam’s girlfriend comes up and says “Stay away from him. I am his girlfriend.”

“I’ll be as close to him as I want and he’ll dump you soon anyway,” I say. We almost fight but she gets scared so her and the others jold the doors [of the shopping centre] against me. I kick the door and the whole door shatters 3/4. [The alarm went off]. A security guy grabs my arm but I push open the door and run.[in a loop, then stayed in a bus shelter where I could safely observe proceedings without being seen.] I watched a security guy [in front of the centre, illustration included]. After that 5 police cars came and talked to the security guys and examined the door. [4 fire engines and more police were coming so] after that I took my jacket off [so as not to be recognised that easily on CCTV as the same person] and went home by a circuitous route in case of surveillance.

The fire alarm was still on and it started rumours about a fire in the changing rooms at school. The whole mall evacuated. Sam liked me a lot more the next day and stopped the guys throwing balls at me.”

[Transcription from diary ends]

The next day I got called into the Head’s office. Everyone knew, of course. The police had been seen in the school for hours, and I’d seen them too and knew they’d seen the CCTV footage of me. The newspapers were claiming it was a Mystery Fire or arson that’d evacuated the mall, but by lunchtime everyone knew it was a swift kick that’d done it. For my part, I was unsure if it’d been a coincidence, that the fire had set off the alarm just as I’d kicked the door. That made me uneasy as I wanted to believe I’d achieved the evacuation of a mall. I basked in the glory and was treated to, at worst, respectful disbelief of the rumour and at best unbridled praise. Unsolicited promises of not telling parents or talking to police – who were appealing for any information – quieted any fears I might’ve had. At that age we weren’t that aware that giving journos the inside scoop could get you money, but some of us must’ve known. (I did and my family didn’t read the papers). That’s a sad indictment of adult behaviour right there – that 11 to 16 year olds wouldn’t give up their schoolmate to the press.

People said ‘They’ would make me pay for the door, but I was pretty sure insurance would take care of that. Apparently the door was worth thousands cos it was “reinforced”. “Well, it wasn’t reinforced very well, was it!” I’d say, lifting my right foot.

So, when I was called to the Head’s office from the lunch hall, all heads turned. So many eyes watching, fearful, troubled, just not knowing how this would all pan out, this thing that’d never happened before. It was all new territory and the police were involved. Rumours that I’d been “lifted” walking away from the scene or caught by the security guard or found hiding in the changing rooms were suddenly dispelled. I finished my lunch, got up, gathering my stuff.The consensus was that I was going to prison and the van was outside. Some thought they could see it. I informed them that I had a plan and anyway the prison van wasn’t outside cos I’d need to go to court first. Vows of silence were renewed – it was assumed the police would now question everyone associated with me and those who’d been there. We expected others to be called to the office after me. “Good luck,” my friends and others said as I rose. The way I’d calmly finished my plate had surprised them. “I dinnae need luck,” I’d laughed. Even girls who hated me nodded at me or stared in shock as I walked, smirking, head held high out of that lunch hall.

There was silence as I walked out and the feeling of bravado faded a bit now I was on my own and didn’t have to keep up appearances.I knew about CCTV and forensic science. But would they use forensic science on a door? Wasn’t it only used for serious crimes? But I knew that CCTVs don’t consistently film an area, they take stills of several directions in turn. It can also be hard to identify people from such images. I ran through my lies – no use saying I wasn’t there, too many witnesses and fingerprints. I eventually came up with a better version of the plan I’d thought out while fleeing the scene, and entered the Head’s office.

Apart from smiling and saying a polite hello, I said nothing. Didn’t want to incriminate myself. There were no police and I was already suspecting this was about something totally different.

And I was right. It was.

Everyone was shocked at my triumphal return into the lunch hall. My friends had been waiting for the police to call on them. When nothing had happened, people reckoned I’d cracked under interrogation, confessed and been shipped off to the police station. Some reckoned I was lying and had confessed, but I didn’t get suspended and the papers didn’t report finding a culprit – then reported that there hadn’t been a fire, if hearsay is to be believed. After a week they got bored of the story and thereafter it only lived on in the collective memory of the young teens.of our school. The door didn’t get fixed for weeks. It had tape round it and a sign warning against its use. A constant reminder to all the pupils of what I’d achieved. It was called “The Door Kalika Kicked In” or “Kalika’s Door”. And of course it was my preference to enter and exit the mall by the door right next to it, re-living the incident and reminding anyone I was with of what had happened.

The incident left me with a sense of my own physical power and emotional holding-it-togetherness. It also left me with a lifelong (superficial) fear of forensic science. It was the 2 or 3 days of worry that’d done it, before the papers said They reckoned the door was damaged by accident when the fire alarm rang and people evacuated the mall. I thought this was a cover-up for the failure to find whodunnit but now I see why they thought that; someone fleeing before the official evacuation does make sense – if you disbelieve the guard.

Sam’s girlfriend and her cronies treated me with more respect after that, having seen my kicking ability and believing rumours that the police had questioned me at school that lunch-time but that I’d lied my way out of it. As for Sam, people told me he was just winding me up, and I confronted him about it. We argued, he punched me twice and I kicked him in the balls. I should’ve remembered how much damage my leg can do. He was in agony and I laughed as I stalked off. He had to see the nurse and couldn’t ride his bike home. He was pushing it along the street. I heard from his friends the next day that he had to see the doctor.

I still pined after him though I knew he was just winding me up. People were interested in our story- Sam was popular and I was famlous in the school, not popular yet at the time but notorious for what I’d done to the door. I tend to be well-known everywhere, not popular but one of those people everyone knows. So I felt humiliated that he hadn’t been serious, but my natural resilience allowed me to bounce back and write a song about it, which I read to some people who slyly mocked me. I showed them I wasn’t upset by it. The still-broken door and rumours that Sam had been in hospital cos of me allowed me to hold my head up, and it was true Sam was off school for 2 days after I kicked him, and still walking funny after.

So I got a great thrill out of the Sam saga and the fear of the police taught me to avoid committing crimes unless you really want to. I’d like to say that it taught me to be less impulsive, but caution doesn’t seem to come easily to me. Which is just as well, really, or we wouldn’t have the Lynne blog, would we? (I know it doesn’t exist yet, but it exists in potentia, as Terry Pratchett would say.) Anyway, I’m going to hit ‘Publish’ on this thing. It’s long overdue to be fired into the deep space of the web.

 

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