I have never ever thought I would get away with anything.
I’m breathlessly scared of getting caught and hugely paranoid in any even vaguely rebellious situation.
Perhaps an explanation from my childhood will reveal the extent of my fear.
When I was at Junior school, my Mum taught at the school I went to. This wasn’t so bad, it was made sure I was never in her class and we just got on with things. It did mean that after school I got left hanging around waiting for her to finish up her work so I could be taken home. I used to watch kids TV on the big weirdo telly in the school hall and get bored.
Now, in principle, I kinda had the run of the school, and could’ve caused all manner of chaos and disruption, or just snuck around and poked at things. I did a little bit of that, but as I did my heart pounded.
I remember one specific time, where I considered doing something crafty (as in arts and crafts, not cunning), but got the fear. I wanted some scissors, but I became convinced that the teacher whose class I was in would have an eye on exactly how the scissor box was arranged, and would instantly notice the disruption, realise it was me, and I would get eaten by a dragon.
So I didn’t really do much exciting, even though I was a child and could’ve made excitement out of just about everything that existed. One thing I did do was become remarkably good at putting things back exactly as they were.
Except I never knew if I was right, and so was always scared of being busted. The next day my heart would leap every time a strange adult came close to the classroom door.
I think I had quite a boring childhood. Although I suspect the amount of time I spent coiled up in my own brain had some benefits.
But the paranoia stays with me.
I find it very hard to break the law. Or even bend the rules. Which is a terrible condition for someone who believes that the system itself is fucked.
So in general, the answer to the question is ‘I didn’t do anything, because I didn’t think I’d get away with it, sorry’.
Probably said quite sheepishly because I am aware of how pathetic I am.
On the plus side, I think I’ve developed to the point where I kind of just have a well developed sense of morality, even if it may be just so that I can justify not doing things that I might get in trouble for.
It’s not really that helpful being massively paranoid though. I walk through life fairly aware of how much I have made myself powerless. So many situations where fear curtails my actions.
The things I don’t get away with are multiple. But only because I never do them.
Which is a shame?
Illustration by Andy.