You think of home as a fortress, your space, the place where you can keep all the world out if you want, have only those you want, trust, and like wander in and out of. It’s the place where you have 19 years worth of memories, some good, some bad, some neither good nor bad. But right now it’s the place that leaves you cold and scared even though you are thousands of miles away from it. His call this morning left you shaken
“Disregard any call from your mother’s phone, it got stolen but we are o.k” and he cut the line in his usual abrupt manner that never leaves room for questions or exclamations. It’s never ceased to amaze me how my father conducts phoneversations; no niceties, no greetings, just straight to the point and off the phone, even when his phone was post-paid with a particular limit, he never reached half the limit, well except when I helped him.
I stare at the phone and ask my roomies, “If he says we’re o.k, does that mean he was there when it got stolen? What does it mean?”
So I call him back, “what do you mean we’re o.k? was it at home?”
He says yes, “we were robbed at gun point at home last night”
It’s me calling but I know he’s about to cut the phone again
“What did they take?”
He says money, one of his laptops, your mother’s phone but we’re ok. He cuts the line.
I want to call back, to ask questions, questions I don’t even have, but instead I lean against the wall and shake, fight back tears. In 19 years we’ve never been robbed, at first i think it had something to do with us having the fiercest dogs on the street, then... I don’t know, but we’d never been robbed. And now I’m scared coz it dawns on me, the parents are home alone, they are no longer young and I’m scared because I hate to worry. I hate to have my balance disturbed, I hate to worry because once I start, I don’t stop.
There will be no police report, it’s not the movies. No one is going to come around and dust for finger prints or take statements and all what not. Maybe if your car is stolen, they’ll take you serious, and even then maybe not, but laptops, phones and money, i don’t think so.
You provide your own security, the tall fence which has been raised to even higher heights 2ce in the past 19 years, the fierce dogs who have since grown old and only bark once in a while. It’s one more way in which you are your own government, one more way in which the government that was selected for you by a few crooks in high places has failed you once again.
I think about the tenants, and hope they did not go to their building. They have 3 little kids, i don’t think any of them needs to see a gun pointed at their mom. I have never seen a gun up close, oh well, except that one time a police man pointed one at me. That’s the shitty part isn’t it, no concrete gun regulations, not for those who are supposed to carry it, and not for those who are not supposed to carry it.
I need this feeling to pass, this fear, the ‘what ifs’. But I am grateful, I’m grateful it’s just what ifs. I’m grateful it’s just money and stuff. I’m grateful for life. I’m grateful to God, and I think it’s time we got a new dog.