Consider this the preface to the post:
I am a big fan of soundtracks. A good soundtrack is a critical part of a movie/television show as it helps to paint a picture and set the mood. Think
about watching a horror movie, without the sound it is just not that scary. The music sets the tone, even if you are not familiar with a particular movie the music
affects your feelings and emotions.
I'd argue that even the most familiar flick can become a bit more threatening with just a few tweaks here and there. The point here is that when I tell a story I often wish that I could have my own soundtrack playing in the background, but I am the guy that wants his own theme song.
We live in a safe neighborhood in which the neighbors know and look out for each other and like many neighborhoods there is a certain amount of crime therein. It is not a regular occurrence so the appearance of a police car parked the wrong direction in front of my home was unexpected.
As I pulled into my driveway my eyes scanned the area searching for evidence of why the police were there. Slowly exiting the car I wondered why and where the police were. It took all of a moment to notice that my neighbor's side gate was wide open and that my own side gate had been pushed open as well.
My neighbor is a sweet old lady who lives alone. I was very concerned about what was going on wanted to immediately check on her. At the same time I wanted to be cautious. I didn't know what was going on, couldn't say that the police were there because of a problem or for some innocuous reason.
The front yard was empty and I couldn't hear anything. It seemed natural to assume that the police were either inside her home or in the backyard, at least I suspected as much. I decided to take a moment to poke my head inside my own home. I figured that it couldn't hurt to take a quick look inside.
Wandered through the house and didn't notice anything so I popped back outside. This time I was greeted by my neighbor's son who started out by saying "Mom's ok." He told me that a short time earlier his mother had woken up and discovered a man inside her bedroom. He had his back to her and was rifling through her dresser.
When she asked him what he was doing he took off running. I was relieved to hear that was all he did and that she was not hurt. When the dust cleared she got out of bed called the police and her sons and started to take inventory of what was missing. Wedding ring, anniversary ring, assorted odds and ends of this and that, call them tchotchkes and knick knacks.
But the most important thing he stole was a sense of safety and trust in the sanctity of her own home. It was a profound violation.
During my conversation with her son my neighbor walked outside. When she saw me she hugged me and asked me why I hadn't been home. I asked her if she had screamed and she said no. But she said that if they had seen me (she assumes that there were two, but doesn't know for certain) they wouldn't have done this.
The thing is, I am pretty sure that they did see me. I took my daughter to school that day and noticed a strange car parked in front of our homes. Certainly it is possible that the car had nothing to do with anything, but when we reviewed the chronology it makes sense that this white sedan was a part of this.
I haven't mentioned yet that I made a point of walking the perimeter of my home to see if this guy had tried to get inside my home. The answer is that he had. I found evidence that he had been on my back patio and had tried to open my sliding doors and it appears that he might have tried to force open a window in the dining room. The good news is that he didn't get in.
Outside we spoke with the police and I described the car I saw to them. Made a point of asking the officer what he thought. He assured me that we live in a safe neighborhood and that no matter what we do there are going to be episodes like this. I can live and agree with that. Really all I can do is try and make it tough for them to get in here and hope that they will find an easier mark.
But I'd be lying if I said that it didn't anger or concern me that someone would do this. I take this very seriously. A brazen attempt like this makes me wonder what they are willing to do. My family's safety is sacrosanct.
I will do what I need to do to protect them.
So now along with all of the other stress and chaos I have this to think about it. I am sure that in a few days the memory will fade and I'll be more relaxed about things. But for a little while here I have found myself making extra sure that the doors are locked, windows are closed and that my favorite Louisville Sluggers are accessible.