Memory. Triggered.

I committed the crime 14,893 days ago.

It was theft.

The only time I’ve ever really stolen anything…unless you count the piece of chocolate I ate from the candy counter when I was working at Woolworth’s.

I stole a towel from the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco.

It was a long time ago. 2127 weeks.

Why am I thinking about it now?

I walked past the Stanford Court Hotel just yesterday and it hit me. Who thought I would ever live on the very same street as the Stanford Court Hotel?

Reminders slap you the most of all when you are unprepared. In my Facebook “memory”, popped up that one year ago today a bunch of us Biker Chicks checked in for the five-borough bike ride in New York.

But the picture reminds ME that that was the start of the downward rush of my sister Alicia’s illness. I felt the need to be accessible, even on my bike and so my cell phone was at the top of my bag and bounced out. It was gone for a couple hours. A kind stranger returned it, refusing a reward.

And I didn’t actually do the 5-borough ride, deciding it was better to return early to California as Alicia’s doctor’s appointments were coming fast and furious.

That towel I took from the Stanford Court Hotel wasn’t just any towel. It was a really nice fluffy one, big, with their insignia woven in.

That towel has niggled at me ever since

It was my wedding night. A Saturday in July nearly 41 years ago. Jeff and I were married on a Saturday and had a one-night honeymoon at the Stanford Court before returning to work on Monday. We went to a show of the comedian Frank Gorshin. A professional photographer came around to the tables taking pictures. He asked the couple next to us if it was a special occasion, I remember wondering why he didn’t ask us the same question. Maybe because I looked too young, even to be out so late, not to mentioned married.

Of course I could never enjoy the towel because I had stolen it. If there is one thing my mother did for the five of us, she gave us out-sized consciences. One time I actually got out the checkbook to send the Stanford Court money for the towel. But at that point it was closed for renovation.

I finally threw the damn thing away.

But I never forgot.

Wonder if other people also remember failings more readily that strengths?

About Karen Ray

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