This month is a rough one.
First, someone broke into our back hut, but we didn’t think much of it. There wasn’t anything to steal. Well, some Wollmeise, a screenprinting machine, some beautiful silk roving, that sort of thing- but the thieves didn’t know well enough, so they left it all alone. We popped the screen back in the window and chalked it up to living in the city.
Then we went to court to testify against the man who assaulted his girlfriend in the street this September, then assaulted both of us when we tried to stop him. There we learned that his girlfriend wasn’t dropping the charges, exactly, but was definitely downplaying the violence. That was disheartening. Also, he had been in prison previously for burglary, trespassing, and assault. We learned that he had been in our neighborhood because his parents lived two doors up from us. Did I mention that when we interrupted the assault, we started by leaving our porch? He knows where we live, because this happened right in front of where we live.
AWESOME. YES. THIS IS GREAT.
He asked for a jury trial, because he was looking at a hypothetical 30 years in jail, which translates into a probable 8- 12 years in the real world. We testify against him on Monday. We were granted a protective order, but I’ve done enough work in victims’ services to know that doesn’t mean much. It’s a nice gesture, though. Like a love letter from the city of Baltimore: it’s actually very difficult to get a protective order in many cities, so I did appreciate just having been handed one like this.
Several days later, the window to our car was smashed out while it was parked in our driveway. Someone tried to take the stereo, but couldn’t manage it, so they just tore out most of the dash and console, then partially destroyed the stereo itself.
Here’s something funny: we’d just had our stereo replaced, because it had been on the fritz. It was under warranty but it was also weirdly hard to find the part, so the replacement had taken a frustratingly long seven weeks. We had the new, functional stereo roughly 27 hours before we noticed the smashed- out window. The stereo wasn’t anything fancy, by the way. It was just the stereo that came with the car.
We have good insurance. We are driving an ugly but highly functional, comfortable rental which is covered by our insurance. The people currently working on our car can’t seem to find a new stereo, either. We are suspended between bemused and wall- punching. I’m aiming to lean towards bemused but really, I’m swinging towards wall- punching today.
Then there was the fire. I don’t want to talk about the fire right now, because Sam just came back from meeting with some of the fire people at the house and the news wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t definitive, so I’ve really nothing to say except VAGUE AND MEANINGLESS PANICKING which will get me nowhere except more upset. I am upset today.
And then last night someone broke into the hut. Again. They didn’t take anything. There was nothing for thieves to take, really: craft supplies, a mini- fridge without even any beer in it, because we emptied it the last time we had a poker night. Still, someone took a screwdriver and their boot to our door and helped themselves to our space. To MY space, my space which is all messed up and awful but by the way, that’s the only clean space I have right now. It is separate from the house so completely unburnt, un- soot-ified, but someone has broken in twice this week. Nothing is safe or clean. I have nothing of my own.
With a yard that is too big to properly fence, an empty house to one side of us, an alley behind us and neighbors to the other side with a large yard, we’re an easy target- especially now that we aren’t living there. Not, I suppose, that anyone would want anything in our actual home right now. I’d like them not to take anything, as we’ll need it to be there so we can make our insurance claims, but if they took it, it wouldn’t do them much good.
I want to move. That’s probably impossible, with “FIRE DAMAGE” on our house’s record now, right? Even though after all this is finished our house should hypothetically be cleaner than it’s ever been, with a brand new coat of paint on every damn room? “FIRE DAMAGE” on our house’s record probably means we are destined to DIE IN THIS HOUSE, with neighbors who hate us and have a criminal son who will probably NOT go to prison again but likes to hit us and hey, maybe breaks into our house a lot now, but who can prove it? NOT US.
I want my damn dogs, some spiked hot cocoa and my Twilight Zone DVD box set. I am over November today. I am over Right Now. November is fired, everyone, and as a matter of fact, I would like to resign from 2011, and get directly to Whenever The Hell This Is Over.
Shit, 2012 is ON NOTICE as of RIGHT NOW, because if things don’t turn around soon, I am going to do SOMETHING. I have no idea what it is right now, but I can feel it building inside me, and IT. IS NOT. GOOD.
I know there’s a stronger version of me that is much more capable of dealing with this in a rational way, but at this moment, I’m having a hard time finding her. She’s in here somewhere, right? I’d better start finding her, soon. I know I can do better than this.