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.

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