Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bad news and good news...

Let me start with the bad news first, mostly because it came first, and this only makes sense chronologically.

I was burgled Thursday night/Friday morning. I found this out when I was feeding the cats and saw that the door to my studio was open. I was working in the studio Thursday night, went into the house for something, fell asleep and never woke back up to go out and lock the door. Missing were my iMac G5 (4 years old), my digital camera, the hard drive I use to back up both my computers, my Fuji Crosstown 1.0 bike, and... and... And, my 34-year old Gibson 12 string, that I've had for all those years... My first 'real' guitar, Isabel. (Yup, all my guitars have names... My cars have names... It's sick, I know.)

I called the police and my insurance company. I couldn't find the serial numbers on anything except the iMac. I know that somewhere I used to have the receipt for the guitar, but couldn't find it, and don't have any recent pictures of it. I felt like an idiot, but although I had the receipts for the camera and hard drive, I hadn't written down the serial numbers... Which took me to the shed.

On the way to the shed, I noticed my weed whacker propped against the back of the studio. That was weird, 'cos I store it in the outhouse. The thieves had been in my outhouse! I noticed the door on the shed was ajar slightly, and went in. At first I thot nothing was disturbed, but then noticed that a box was open that shouldn't have been and went in to investigate further and found... A t-shirt that someone had used - recently, very, very recently - to wipe their ass.

I screamed and threw the offending shirt out of the shed and just stood their literally shaking with the whole willies of it. ICK! And then I started crying... Full out sobbing and weeping.

Perhaps picking up rags that people have wiped their asses on does not affect you in this manner, but I have been under a fair amount of stress in the last year what with putting my hand through the table saw, getting mugged, having Dad almost die, a weird almost romance, getting my wallet stolen and then having Dad actually die, and, well, I've just had enough. I've been bearing up pretty well, picking myself up and dusting myself off and continuing on, but the shit thing completely unhinged me. I couldn't stop crying. It occurred to me that the shitty rag was a clue, and I should save it. So I got some disposable tongs, picked it up, put it in a plastic bag, put THAT in a plastic bag and put it in my refrigerator, and tried not to think about having a shitty rag in my refrigerator. And then I went for help.

I notified some friends. Ricë talked to me for a L O N G time. My friend Clark took me out for drinks and food. I was still crying on and off over the weekend, but I was well-fed and tipsy, and that made it some better.

I kept saying to everyone "They can have the computer and the bike and the camera; I just want my guitar and the hard drive back." Wishful thinking! You betcha. I knew it was wishful thinking, but that didn't stop me from doing it.

And then - again, after talking to Ricë - I came to believe that there was a metaphysical issue here, or a metaphorical one, or a karmic one: I have too much stuff to keep track of.

I vowed to go and clear my stuff out of the shed, at least the easy stuff. I gave myself permission to take time before I threw away papers and photos and books, but told myself I had to get rid of clothes and linens and dishes and kitchen stuff and whatnots.

I did some yesterday. I did some today. I came across a whole bunch of religious art that belonged to my late mother-in-law, very Catholic stuff, very pretty, but no one in the family is Catholic and no one wanted it. So today I took six boxes, three bags, and a dutch oven over to St Vincent de Paul on Congress. One of the boxes was full of the religious paintings. Who better to have them than St Vinny's?

Afterwards, I went to the store, bought cat food and came home. I sat in the driveway, exhausted. It was mostly emotional, but still I was really tired and I just sat there and stared at my beautiful studio/garage which has been so violated and thot "What the fuck is that leaning against the side of the studio?" For there was something leaning against the side, sort of tucked under my big, big ladder... Something that looked an awful lot like my guitar.

I got out of my car very very slowly because I knew I was hallucinating and I didn't want it to end. I walked over, and there, leaning against the studio was my beautiful lovely guitar. I didn't think about fingerprints. I just grabbed it and started crying, and then looked in between the studio and the house next door, and there, halfway down, lying in the leaves and mud, was my hard drive. I approached it very slowly, sure that at any moment I would come to my senses, but no. It WAS my hard drive. It's power cord was missing, so I can't use it to see if the data is ok, but even if it isn't, it might be recoverable.

I called the insurance agency. I called the police. State Farm was really happy and will cut me a check tomorrow. There's a $1000 deductible, so I'm out a lot of money, but it's almost enough to get a new iMac. I'll treat myself to a new bike, too, at some point.

I thot about how really lucky I was. It's been raining like crazy lately, trying to make up for two years of no rain, but it hadn't rained in the last four days. I was shaking as I called friends to tell them the wonderful news. I'm still shaking. It damn sure beats crying.

I talked for a long time to the detective assigned to my case. He's actually interested! He's calling the DNA lab tomorrow. He may want the poop!

I still have a lot of things to think about and a lot of stuff to get rid of. I feel like at any moment bad luck or karma or fate could strike again.

Hopefully, if it does, the me that it aims at will dodge quickly... It's so much easier to dodge if you aren't carrying a bunch of shit around with you...


Roberta said...

OMG...I can't believe this post. First...thank god you were not hurt or violated by these rats. Secondly...it sounds like kids being complete jerks and disrepectful. I'm glad that you found your guitar and hard drive and hopefully you will be able to recover your data. Please be safe and cry if you want to, fondly, Roberta

freebird said...

You've been through the wringer! Glad you got your guitar back at least. All the bad stuff that happened before the theft was bad stuff - but it didn't violate your boundaries. A theft does and a poopy theft does even more. That's why (I say) you broke down over it and not everything else. Bad news is bad and we deal with it but being violated goes beyond that and to our core being. I really hope your new year does go much better.