I just found out that Sam got busted for stealing a car. He is to be suspended for 180 days. I call this ‘the death sentence‘.
On an impulse, the other night he goes out and steals a Mercedes. (Why bother with a Toyota, right?) Then he goes home. After a hard night of ripping folks off, he oversleeps. He panics the next morning, but remembers he’s got a car. So he drives to school, and parks in the faculty parking lot. It is, after all, where everybody parks. Since impulse control is not Sam’s strength, it did not occur to him that the security guard might question a 12 year old driving.
Where does this kid get a break? His parents abandoned him. Foster care fails him. Now we expel him. And this kid is so clearly, clearly treatable.
After school, I see him outside, across the street, just looking at us. Just looking. I call to him. Sam says something in reply, something blurred by the sound of traffic. We smile. Camouflage smiles. But our eyes betray the depth of sadness and a distance, just a street, which our sadness cannot bridge.