A Thief Changes Everything
The hushed tone of concern, the feeling of being violated and a promise to put some new things in place... these are familiar feelings to me that come when a thief has come into my own "safe zone."
Recently, that feeling came over me as my neighbour described how some daring thief made his way to the third (top) floor of our complex and into a window of another neghbour. Apparently, he had the window open, and the window had no burglar bars. They stole some clothes from off his baclcony, a cap, a knife and some other small items during the night, while had the window open "to let the breeze in." A few days after, they found the cap and knife on the roof over our particular building, near to a door that they had tried to use to enter the grilled in portion of the building.
Immediately my mind went to explain the reasons why the victom could be so dumb, and why we were much smarter, and why it couldn't happen to us (thieves apparently do IQ tests before break-ins.)
I then postulated that maybe he faked the break-in, to explain the loss of some valuable item that he had actually sold for himself, while collecting the insurance. I guess that in this version of things, he is actually a diamond trader from New Yorker, who wanted to commit insurance fraud. (Somehow, Walter Matthau gets involved at some point and solved the mystery....)
But it was too late -- our sense of safety about living at The Meadows has changed.
When we moved to Jamaica, I advised my wife to start to view everything we owned as "borrowed." In Kingston in particular, that's not a bad assumption as just about anything not bolted down is subject to theft, and even some of the things that are bolted down are apt to find new owners also. In a true sense, this was going to be an abundant opportunity to live a life in which tangible stuff was borrowed, and not really owned, subject is it was to sudden changes in ownership -- called "theft" in some circles.
We also were sure to pick an apartment complex that seemed relatively safe -- a guard at the gate, a formidable grille to the building, double locks on doors, tall walls with razor wire. it would takea combination of spiderman and batman to break in here.
Well, it did. We still can't tell how the thief made his way to a third floor window and into the apartment, and then back out safely.
But the effect goes well past the clothes, cap and knife he stole.