Monday, May 20, 2013

Burglary Blues

On Thursday, May 16, just as I was walking to my car, Alma called me panic-stricken because our condominium got broken into and someone stole our gold jewelry, including the heirloom pieces I'd inherited from my grandmother, and my laptop. The thief forced the front door open with a crowbar, jimmied both deadbolts, and seriously damaged the door and doorjamb. Luckily, nobody was home or hurt, although it's pretty clear to us that he was probably casing the place and waiting for it to be empty. Since Alma got home at 4 and a friend left at 1, the burglary happened in the those three hours in the middle of the day. Alma reported the incident at 4:15 but the police didn't show up here till after midnight, 12:29 to be exact. Eight hours later. Since then, I've been in a fog of insurance, police reports, locksmiths, contractors (we will need to replace the whole door not just the locks because the damage is irreparable), security systems, tracking Craig's List and Ebay just in case I see my grandmother's bracelets and St. Rita necklace, my precious fossil Ammolite ring that I'd given myself as a "rebirthday" present on a trip to Puerto Rico back in 2005--the pieces that would stand out from the more common stuff you see on those sites.

I'm not letting it sink in, though, that my MacBook Pro, stuffed to the gills with all my writings, is gone. I have old backups on Time Machine and on flash drives and CD's, but I think the last time I used Time Machine was in 2008, and although I have the most recent versions of my newest book which, thank the goddess, I'd finished putting together and sent off to the press, I don't have the latest drafts of other books, or the collections of stories, poems, chapters, I'd been working on since 2008. I don't have the latest draft of my YA novel that I was going to try to work on this summer. It's the weirdest feeling, like I'm unanchored but at the same time, sort of liberated from all that karma. Not that I wouldn't want the police to get my computer back so I could get those files back, all my pictures, and my thousands of songs (thank goodness for iPhone backups so that at least I still have some of my music and photos), but a part of me is willing to make the sacrifice, say to the Universe, okay you can have all of that, just keep us safe, let them erase the whole drive and reset the computer to factory settings so that none of my work or my personal information is out there drifting in cyberspace.

But maybe, just maybe, all of this was supposed to happen to help me open my eyes to what's really important, especially in this economy: take extra measures to protect your safety. Don't procrastinate on things like installing a home security system or backing up your computer. Listen to your Facultad when she sends up a random sense of relief when you come home one afternoon and discover you haven't been broken into; that's your wiser self, telling you, be careful, something's coming. If you're afraid of this, maybe you should listen more closely. Deja vu, perhaps.

I went to a pawn shop today but didn't find any of our stuff. We're going undercover this week, hitting the pawnshops because I feel like I'm going to find at least some of my grandmother's pieces. Don't worry. If I do see something, I'll report it to the police and let them handle it. I'm looking forward to getting our wireless security system installed tomorrow. Our front door replaced and new and better locks put in. Then I'm going to transplant my baby blue spruce tree that we used as a Christmas tree and get back in touch with our plants, our flowers, our patio.