Friday, June 01, 2007

Burgled, again.

Yesterday... a month and a half ago, Carly arrived home to be greeted by our neighbor saying our place had been broken into and that she had just called the police.
Out place was broken into and our computers, some cameras, and other items stolen. What differentiated this one from the last (two) was that this time the people actually broke down a door to do it. Luckily, Carly and the kids stopped for groceries and missed them, had then been a few minutes earlier I shudder to think what would have happened.
We spent the next few hours, watching police move in and out of house, take finger prints, assess items lost, etc.. In the meantime, Will stumbling without a nap in the 100 degree whether slipped in the garden and punctured his cheek (nearly all the way through) with a rabbit fence pole. So the bleeding, and screaming, and chaos was near perfect levels.
We called the Insurance company about getting someone out to fix the door and were promised 24 hour response, but by nightfall 24 hours seemed a long way off.
I was able to sort of jam/brace the back door shut and sort of lock it. But if a swift kick could smash open the deadbolt this would deter only the wind.
That night, though exhausted, I don't think Carly or I slept much.
The next day was spent cleaning the house, counting our losses, and trying to get the door fixed. Of course, it was Saturday, so there was little we could do. But we did get a new door. It would be weeks before we actually got the trim fixed, and the chipping drywall was a constant reminder of the violation.

The stuff was stuff. We lost a lot of unprinted or backed-up photos, and movies of the kids. We lost some costume jewelry that belonged to Carly's mother. But in the end, the stuff was just stuff, and after the deductible, we expected to get some compensation for that from the insurance.

But we lost the love, for our wonderful little house, our nice neighborhood where after five years we were really starting to make friends, and mankind in a general sort of way. We knew we had to move. Three strikes in one place were a lot, and even if statistically we were unlikely to be robbed again, we just don't feel good about the place anymore. We need a change of scenery. So we started that process.

We toyed with just getting a security system and hoping that would deter people, send them on to the next house. We are being more proactive about securing our new computers (lojack and locks) and backing up more regularly. And honestly, I don't really fear for the lives of my family. It scares me that the locked door doesn't mean stop to some people, but everything we've heard from the police, community watch and such is that 99% of the crime in the neighborhood is theft.

For me the internal struggle focuses over two things. One, I've started having sort of day dreams, although usually at night as I lie awake, where someone is outside the house and attack the person with a baseball bat, or a kitchen knife or something. A deep seated need to assert myself has arisen. It is ancient and unpleasant, and I hate that feeling. I loathe violence, and would, I hope, be the sort of person who politely hands over his wallet to muggers, and never resorts to violence. But I could feel the violence swelling in me.

Two, I've started staring at people walking by our house. Everyone of them, old, young, black, white, male, female, is a potential criminal staking out my house. If I don't know them by name, then they are the people who broke down the door. I am suspicious and hateful and stereotyping. So I am also guilty and ashamed. And it is enough. So rather than try to force some peaceful transformation where I become one with my anger and the world disappears, I've opted, we've opted to change the scenery, and try to regain some love of mankind.

Those first few nights before the door was fixed.
When we were still dealing with the police.
When we were franticly changing passwords, and tracking our social security numbers and the like.
Those were the worst. But, eventually, that sort of faded. Then the prospect of moving, for real began to set in.