The gears are shaped like jagged O’s.
We lost one of our Spirograph wheels, the third one from the corner, the best size. Spirograph engrossed me for hours at a time, and losing a wheel was a deep disappointment.
I must have been a dastardly child. One day at my friend Amy’s house, we were playing with her Spirograph set, and I snagged her wheel in the size I lost. When we were putting it away, she accused me and I smugly denied the theft. She said that’s the same one that you’re missing. You took it. I said, no, it’s that other size, pointing to the size just below. But she knew. I was aware of the wheel poking into my stomach through my pants pocket.
I felt satisfied at home with my now complete Spirograph set. But after that first flurry of play, one season perhaps, I don’t recall returning to Spirograph much.
I found an old Spirograph at a tag sale decades later, and brought it home for my kids. It was a hit, but I was haunted by my theft of Amy’s wheel. I thought of it every time I played.
Recently, on Facebook, Amy and I had a short exchange that led her to reminisce about playing Spirograph with me for hours. I immediately private messaged her with my true confession. She had no memory of it. I wasn’t always that nice to Amy, but she doesn’t seem to remember that either. The little crimes of childhood haunt only selectively.