That’s how I felt last night when I realized that my house had been burglarized. While Suzy and I were down in SC celebrating Father’s Day with my family, a couple of young black men broke into my house, stole my Macbook Air, my Canon Rebel T3i digital camera and a Wii game console. My neighbors saw them and chased them on foot, but the thieves got away.
On the bright side, I had an older laptop that I was able to quickly get up and running. I didn’t lose any of my writing, thanks to a combination of DropBox and Time Machine backups. My Macbook was password-protected and is now remote-wiped thanks to the iCloud apps. No one was hurt, and our pets were safe. And I learned that I really do live in a good neighborhood, where three young brothers were willing to put their own safety on the line to try and protect my possessions. That last bit means a lot.
On the darker side, I’m fucking pissed. Some little sonofabitch broke into my home. He came into my office and stole my computer. The computer I write on. The way I make my living. My home. I feel violated, I feel scared, and more than anything I feel angry. Last night I re-loaded the shotgun and put it back in its rightful place beside my bed. The warning shot is what you get when you hear the shell racked into the chamber. It’s bird shot, so I’m at least giving you a chance to live through the next round.
Suzy and I have lived through this before, each in different ways. I’ve had two vehicle break-ins within the past three years, both in Atlanta. The first time, ironically, my MacBook and digital SLR camera were stolen. The second time not only did the thieves get nothing of value, but they were caught just hours later and my stuff was returned. Suzy was held up at gunpoint while working in a theatre, and had her purse and car keys stolen. That was decidedly more traumatic and scary.
But this just pisses me off. I know it’s all just stuff, material possessions, and I really am very happy that neither my neighbors nor my pets were hurt. But it was my stuff. I worked hard to be able to afford those things, and now some assclown that doesn’t want to go out and get a damn job has my stuff. And I’m pissed.
And now I can see a little better how things like the Trayvon Martin shooting happen. I don’t want to say that my situation is analogous to George Zimmerman, because only two people know what happened that night in Florida, and one of them is dead. But I know that my immediate experience has trumped my liberal leanings right now, and I could see me overreacting to some perceived threat right now. My personal security has been rattled, and I don’t have much of a flight instinct, it’s all fight. So please send a message to the Seventh-Day Adventists and the Mormons that this is a bad week to knock on the door of Casa de Hartness, because the nicest thing I’m holding down behind the door when I answer it is a baseball bat.
I really do appreciate all the well-wishes on Facebook and Twitter. It’s nice that folks were concerned. If you want to help, buy a book. I’m not sure yet whether it’s going to be worth filing a homeowner’s insurance claim or not. It may affect my premium more than the stuff was worth, so I have to weigh that in making my decision. If you really want to help, click the Paypal button below.
And thanks for reading my rant. I’m not going to shoot anybody. Much. But a .22 slug to the kneecap is looking like a better and better answer. After all, if I shoot a bitch in the knee, he’s not going to be playing second-story man anymore.