I’ve mentioned before that I work for a university, and next week we get a couple of days off for Spring Break. It could not be coming at a better time for me. I am just frazzled. Frazzled, I tell you. Things are happening around me that are totally out of my control – and that is something up with which I will not put. (To borrow from Winston Churchill.)
You see, we are having a crime wave in our neighborhood. And while it’s true that I live “in the city,” I live in what has been a fairly crime-free part of the city, an “occasional car broken into when a GPS was left in sight” part of the city. But last month a retired veteran who lived about 6 blocks from us was stabbed to death in his home in the middle of the day. And then the break-ins started all around the neighborhood – last week it was a home down the street from us, and this week it was the house next door to us.
And it doesn’t matter if you have an alarm or not – our district is so large that by the time one of the few police cars in our district makes its way to the break-in, the burglars are long gone. They know they have plenty of time to grab the DVD player, camera, laptop, etc. We have Fritz, of course, who does indeed have a badass bark when he hears someone come onto the porch. But I am not wholly convinced that he couldn’t be persuaded with a nice cut of beef or a large wedge of cheese …. Although I can hope he might react the way a German Shepherd belonging to a friend of my neighbor did – the owner came home from work to find the dog choking on something, whereupon it was discovered to be a burglar’s finger.
The feeling of not being safe in your home is just sickening. Coming on the heels of my post earlier this week about my former student it’s almost overwhelming. And when I try to put it out of my mind as I did last evening, I drive past the Sunoco station near our house to see 5 police cars, lights flashing, with two men sitting on the ground. I don’t know what was going on, but it can’t be good.
Last night I woke up from a dream that our house had been broken into. In my dream, the burglars came in through the basement window – which is how most of these break-ins have happened. Only, in my dream, Unnamed Partner and I went down the basement stairs to see — not only the basement window broken, but the entire side of the house missing!
I know – subtle, eh?
We have really good neighbors, all around, and I know we’ll all be looking out for each other now more than ever. But this sense of helplessness in the midst of crime and violence is so unnerving. I am trying to take a lesson from it, to have more empathy with the many people around the world who live with uncertainty and fear in their lives each and every day. I thought I was pretty empathetic, but apparently someone/something felt I needed a refresher.
Value every day, every moment, every one. And hope your dog is not easily swayed by cheddar ….