This Is It

By Natalie Tomlin

June 5, 2017

This Is It

1998. We stole it at night, one of us running across a lawn we had scoped out beforehand. With a firm kick, I popped it out neatly and ran away with it under my arm like a football, never really breaking my stride. The runaway car was there, waiting. At first we thought we would start a collection, but something stopped us from progressing past three or four. My theory is we found the one that could not be topped. Sure, there was ‘Buy Now and Save,’ which communicated all that we hated about consumerism, but when we found ‘This Is It’ printed in bold letters on thick plastic and slid into the slot above the real estate ‘for sale’ sign, it became an unfurled fortune cookie message, a street sign I placed above the entrance to my apartment, a bumper sticker I propped in the back window of my Chevy Lumina, a thought bubble or caption or reminder or koan or epitaph that we once took to the bar, onto the dance floor to hold above our heads as we danced to Hard Knock Life and laughed and scanned the faces, hoping everyone would understand with us. We were 19 and it was our dictum from the real estate gods and I would love to know where that sign went. But really, nothing was lost. We had discovered it. Nothing could take it away.

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