Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Aftermath, Part 1

(Hopefully, there is no part 2.)

I haven’t done what I usually do when I’m confronted with adversity.

Often, I will write. Just fill pages until whatever it is that bothers me is just ink starkly strewn about a few dozen pages. Slightly less often, I’ll ride my bike. This is a great stress reliever. At the bottom of the list is consumption. Donuts, books, video games, and everything else I love.

There was no time, and I hurt too badly for any of it. If it hadn’t been for a couple of close friends, the whole affair would have been tremendously difficult. I’m reminded of the movie “The Brave One”, where a woman gets mugged, has a difficult time going outdoors, and eventually turns into a vigilante to get control. Thankfully, I have a digital copy, so I can watch it, unlike virtually every other movie I once owned.

I didn’t waste any energy being angry, wondering where my things were, or fantasizing about what I would do if I caught the thieves. I don’t care about the things, and while insurance won’t cover all of it, it’ll cover some. We lost our wedding tape, but we still have our wedding album, and our memories.

It is tragic to lose things that represent your passions and your fond memories. When they are not difficult to replace, they are impossible. What’s worse, is the paranoia that we’d rebuild her collection, and just get robbed again. It isn’t rational, or statistically probable, it just simply is.

I pity the burglars. We live just at the edge where a culture war will likely begin over the next few years. To walk out my door and look left, you’d see trendy eating places, the Donut Whole, newly minted breweries, and other attractions. To look right, you see a rapidly deteriorating neighborhood with a few people who own their homes and holding on. I didn’t know I’d bought a house on the front lines.

I’ve been given permission by several people to blame my realtor, the property inspector, the seller, God, and everyone else for not warning me about the various problems with my home, and the location. The police officer who came to take the report did all that, and his absolute best to scare the crap out of my wife, something she did not need. In the wake of that, everywhere I went, the common folks in Wichita sympathized with me.

There is hope in Wichita.

The plumber who came to snake the sewer line believed that “knowledge was power”, and that because someone helped him once, he had an obligation to pay it forward. When he couldn’t fix the problem on the first visit, I could tell he was disappointed. His brother and law, a master plumber, and his wife and friends came out the next day. I’m trying to put together a review for their Google+ page without it sounding too sappy.

For all their efforts, regardless of the outcome, they returned to me some of my faith in people. Even the property inspector was sympathetic, news of my plight having traveled to his ears somehow. It served to shift my fractured perception of the people of Wichita back into focus.

They weren’t the only ones that helped me out today. There are good people here.

It will take a lot to offset the calamity of the last week. There will need to be many friendly interactions, new friends made, and just plain old time passing before normalcy can be invited back into our lives.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week From Hell

My week started innocently enough. My game dev partner and I played some classic D&D arcade on Steam. Did a full day’s work and packed some things. On Tuesday, I went for a bike ride, and found a neat twenty mile loop.

Wednesday, a friend of mine decided to ride that loop again. Two blocks in, my front tire blows and nearly puts me down. I took my bike into the local shop and had it fixed, and we resumed the ride. After twenty miles and two blocks from the new house, the front tire goes again, but I’m going fast this time. I go over the handle bars. Bike is all messed up, and I’m hurt pretty badly.

I sleep on a red blanket so I don’t ruin the sheets.

Thursday, we have a U-Haul trailer and it’s time to move. I bandage up my mangled hands and put on the softest pants I own over my battered legs. We move all the heavy things. Half way through, I feel something go in my chest and I roll around on the ground in pain. The fractured ribs (I didn’t realize I had), turned into broken ones.

I get a call. My grandmother being put on hospice care.

Friday, we wake up to no hot water, and no one can come out to fix it for four days. Family coming to help us finish moving are delayed, and my car breaks down, twice. They have to keep my car over the weekend. My friend and I try to get the laundry facilities set up, but we can’t find a dryer cord long enough. No laundry until I can round one up.

My wife’s treasured pet is sick, and depending on the verdict he may need surgery. He’s lost a lot of weight and he’s so small the anesthesia might kill him.
Sears calls, and our new appliances (stove and fridge), are delayed another ten days.

I have a panic attack, something that hasn’t happened in almost two years. I’m in a public place, full of people when it happens.

Saturday, I go into the doctor to have my ribs looked at. They fit me for a neat brace, and I get some stickers. I waited too long to go in, and now I hurt pretty badly. Between that and moving a bunch of heavy things, I turned a couple weeks of recovery into a couple of months. No bike rides until I am healed.

I take a freezing cold shower. My wife, while in the basement, finds water where it should not be. The sewer line is blocked.

Sunday, the home warranty people misunderstood my wife on the phone. Service to clear the main line so we can use the toilets probably won’t happen until Monday.

Some good things happened this week, but they are living in the total shadow of everything else. I’m blogging about this so if I ever think I’m having a bad week again, I can gain some perspective.

Edit: Oh, and then Sunday evening while we were out with friends, someone kicked in a panel on our front door, let themselves in, and stole our Xbox, TV, DVDs, Video Games, and Wedding Video. I guess the week from hell isn't over yet.