I cam home late from the bar. After I’d come in and flicked on the lights, I didn’t notice anything at first. I had a good buzz going and I was enjoying myself.
But when I crossed the living room to get to the kitchen, that’s when I first had the sense that something was off. I couldn’t say exactly what it was, but there was something that didn’t seem right.
Maybe it was just my paranoia flaring up.
I walked around and peered at my furniture. I got on my hands and knees and looked under the coffee table at the stacks of books and magazines.
Before going to the bar, I had been sitting on my sofa, reading a copy of Dash! magazine. I had been rereading an article I’d written 3 years ago. So, I distinctly remeber putting the magazine on top of all my other magazines and newspapers because I wasn’t done reading.
Now it was no longer at the top, but tucked under a folded newspaper.
I scrambled to my feet, my buzz gone. I looked over the rest of my apartment. Now it seemed to me that someone had gone through all my stuff.
I’m no detective, but I could see where things had been put back in place with care and intention. Normally in my apartment there is a conflict between order and chaos. The book tossed carelessly on the couch; the neat stack of post-its next to my computer; the random plate or microwave tray on the counter; and the shoes lined up neatly in the cubby by the door.
Everything was there, but they bore the invisible mark f having been touched, probed, and put back by some other hand than mine.
I was freaking out. After I made sure my stash of cash and documents were all there, I checked the doors and windows. They were untouched. The windows were still even locked from the inside. The burglar appeared to have walked through the walls.
I called the police. While I waited for officers to arrive, I sat on the edge of my couch and breathed, trying to clear my head. I wasn’t successful.
After ten uneasy minutes, two police officers knocked on my door. I told them my story. They looked over my apartment, gave me scrutinizing looks, and told me they’d do what they could, but from what they could tell there was little in the way of evidence.
I took their advice and spent the rest of the night in a motel.
As I walked down the hall carrying my duffel bag, my new neighbor poked her head out of her door.
“What happened?” she asked in her rich voice.
“Nothing. I think someone was poking around my apartment while I was gone. You didn’t see anything did you?”
“No! That is very bad! I am sorry, but I saw nothing.”
Only now, in retrospect, do I think there was something odd about her tone and the glimmer in her single, visible eye. Maybe she did see something but was choosing to be quiet about it.
Bah, I don’t know.
God damn it! Ever since that meeting last week, my life has gotten all screwed up. I’m so goddamned paranoid about everything. I’m still shaking, even as I’m writing this. I’ll be amazed if there are no spelling erroros.
I don’t know what to do. I can’t think. I can’t write. All I can do is sit and drink and wish like hell my life was back to normal. I feel so vulnerable, naked. Your home is supposed to be… I don’t know, safe. You know what I mean?
That’s been my crappy day. Hopefully yours has been a little better. I’ll stop now before I keep rambling on. I need to sleep. That should help me process all this.
Before bed though, one last drink.