One night a few months ago there was a banging on my door just after midnight. I had just gone to bed and wasn't yet asleep, reading from my phone. I just let them keep banging, figured it was a case of mistaken identity and eventually they would give up. People had mistaken my flat before. In fact, exactly a week before someone had left a love note after some loud middle of the night banging: "Don't think, act. Meet me at the XXXX. Hearts and kisses!" I assumed it was a case of mistaken identity. This time the banging wouldn't stop, though. Was this the love note writer's spouse, angry to discover an infidelity and both of them still unaware mine was the wrong flat? After more than a minute of pounding, I finally got up and walked over to my door to peep outside, but they were gone. A few minutes later there was pounding on my back door. Someone had managed to climb up the fire escape. They tried the door knob several times, then they seemed to be trying to shake the small door from its hinges. I turned on a light. They must have seen I was not who they were hoping for and ran off.
This time I walked in on two guys. At first I didn't realize what was happening. They of course did and scurried off out the back window where they had come in. I ran after them just a little bit, but then figured that most of my stuff seemed to be piled up in the center of the room, so what was the point. The police came, at my neighbor's insistence. I had no idea how to act. Scared? Concerned? I ended up just being friendly, but it came off as being flirty. Maybe that's ok. It's these unusual circumstances that are certain to trip me up in terms of acting normal, I realized for the hundredth time.
The afternoon blown on conversations with police and neighbors, I finally got ready to go take a swim but couldn't find my waterproof ipod. Those bastards. The thing that really bothered me is that they wouldn't even recognize that it is waterproof, at 5 times the normal cost. To some pawnbroker, it would just be an outdated ipod. So wasteful. Goodbye dear ipod, we had such lovely moments together.
Because I couldn't listen to music, instead I thought about these burglars of mine and wondering, do they think they are bad guys? See, I'm so much more interested in the stories we tell ourselves rather than our actual behavior. And I had just spent hours listening to my neighbors and the police say what pieces of human trash the burglars were. It was sort of a dick move to take my external harddrive, which couldn't be worth that much to anyone but me, who had a million personal files stored on it. They were about to take my mobile charger. What? How much could they get for that, versus how annoying would it have been for me to go right then to a shop to replace it because I had just lost my spare. And it's obviously dangerous work. What if I had a weapon? Or they did leave their gloves, which apparently can keep fingerprints themselves. And I yelled disparaging things at them as they ran away like scaredy cats. That must not feel good to the old ego, right? I wondered quite honestly, how do they justify the dickishness and the danger for a pile of useless crap? Do they paint themselves as some sort of dramatized villains? Or good guys that have fallen on hard times? Or are they sort of like me and don't really "feel" anything at all about it. That would make sense. I could see that. And that was weird to think about, in the same way it's weird to see two identical twins, one of them fat and rundown and the other one smoking hot.