If someone says they’re fleeing crime, believe them.
Someone stole my tablet at DD Monday morning, July 9.
I was sitting at the table near the outlet, with my tablet charging. I was logged into FaceBook, WordPress and my e-mail. Time came to sit down in the bathroom, so I folded up the tablet, put it to the side, put my notebook (composition book) on top of it, and stood up.
There was a big crowd in there. Something told me the tablet wasn’t safe. I assume I was sensing the darkness of some individuals’ auras. But I figured, with so many people there, no one would try anything.
I went on to the bathroom. When I came back, it was gone.
The clairvoyant aspect recalled to me this other story.
At the end of July 1992,
I flew from Baltimore to Akron to serve as best man at my best friend’s wedding. On my return, I hailed a cab at the airport. I settled into my seat, and the driver put it in gear, and a visual image commandeered my awareness.
There was one window in my bedroom at home, roughly 12 by 18 inches. From the narrow alley outside, its bottom was 8 feet off the ground. I saw the young man Adam, my neighbor, climbing in through that window.
I’m not accustomed to visions. This one lasted a few seconds. I didn’t like it, but didn’t know what to make of it. So I didn’t dismiss it, but didn’t dwell on it, either.
I arrived home and opened my door and met a scene of complete devastation. The window I mentioned was all busted in; the back door was smashed off its frame. My cache of multi-cultural porn — I like all different kinds of women. — was strewn all over the back yard and alley. And my stereo(*) was gone, all but the reel-to-reel. They’d left that.
(*)In those days there were no smart phones, no wi-fi, no internet, no digital music, no Cloud. To enjoy music at home, a man of my means had a “stereo,” consisting of “components,” individual pieces of equipment normally bought separately. One bought a tuner, an amplifier, a turntable for one’s vinyl, and large, free-standing speakers.
All pre-recorded music in those days was on vinyl.
Mine had taken me years to assemble, and cost more than 3K pre-1992 dollars.
This was the fifth and most violent of five break-ins in fifteen months, and broke my willingness to continue to live there.
The first break-in is a story in itself.
I had left Maryland
in January 1991 to attend graduate school. I survived one semester. Having an urgent need, I phoned my former landlord, who said this place was available; and having an urgent need, I took it sight unseen.
A formerly single-family home had been converted into two apartments. The front door of the house opened into the original living room. In its east wall was the door to the original kitchen, in effect my front door. There were stairs from the living room to the second floor apartment, where Bill lived.
The theft occurred while I was at work, the first work day after I moved in. I came home, as usual emptied my pockets onto the kitchen table, as usual put my change in the piggy bank — only, the piggy bank wasn’t there. It was gone. Had I been broken in?
Nothing else was disturbed. Nothing.
I examined the door. There was no damage. Now, there were particular details about that door, such that no one could get through it by any normal means without a key or without force. A curved piece of wire I found on the living room carpet would prove to be what the villain had used. I’ll leave that to the reader to figure out.
Still in disbelief that any theft had occurred, I went through the whole apartment looking for anything amiss. Nothing. Nothing.
My glance fell on a particular object that, in the overall mess of how I kept the place, would never have attracted attention. Something told me to check it.
It was a brown cardboard box tied up with a dozen rubber bands. I took them off. Inside the brown cardboard box was a decorative blue foil box. I took that out. Inside the decorative blue foil box was a velvet case. I took that out. Inside the velvet case had been an American Eagle 24K gold coin, the size of a quarter, which had cost me $500.
It was gone.
Check it out: someone had come in and, of all things in my apartment, picked up that one object; took off the rubber bands; took the blue foil box out of the cardboard box; took the velvet case out of the blue foil box; opened the velvet case and took the coin; put the velvet case back in the blue foil box, put the blue foil box back in the cardboard box; and tied it back up with the rubber bands.
I had never yet met Adam in person. I would later that evening when he dropped by to visit his uncle Bill. But from all I know of him now, what I’ve described is exactly the sort of thing he would do.
He was busted the next day in Howard County, in possession of $500 of weed.
Why, of all the things in my apartment, had he picked up that one object?
I’m not the only one who’s clairvoyant.
Fells Point is known nationwide
as The Upscale Place for renovators, millennials, young professionals and historical preservationists.
Durham Street is a hell-hole.
The morning after the first break-in, I walked to my bus stop — two blocks north — and looked at the houses I passed. Every first floor window had bars. Every front door displayed damage: sometime or other, every single one had been forced. Every single one.
Every young man who lived there was either in jail, just out of jail, or going to jail (out on pretrial release).
Two extended families occupied most of the homes on the block, one the north half, one the south half. The former was utterly controlled by heroin; the latter, by alcohol.
Among us were guys my age, walking, talking products of incest.
Over the years, I learned: morbid obesity is a mark of an incest survivor.
All these people were white.
Adam lived across the street from me, with his mother Diane and two younger half-siblings. The younger ones’ father did not live there, but his mother lived next door. Grandma held Adam as her grandson, too, which is understandable in a way: he’s well-mannered, well-spoken, and good-looking. He’s just helpless against these overwhelming impulses to steal.
Diane’s sister was Bill’s girlfriend, making him, in effect, the children’s uncle.
Bill’s buddy Carter lived half a block north of us. Carter, O.B.M., was actually a borderline genius. He’d worked for NASA and was a gifted painter. For now, however, the love of his life was the bottle.
These guys would panhandle every day, only till they got enough to buy a fifth of cheap wine or whiskey. That’s enough to intoxicate a man for the next 24 hours.
Note: these guys weren’t homeless.
Most homeless people don’t panhandle.
Most panhandlers aren’t homeless.
People in this condition have no need of food: the liquor pickles your insides, so you’re never hungry. Anything you do eat comes right back up anyway.
The incest-product junkie got it in his head that Carter owed him a whole lot of money. He put out a contract on him, hiring two thugs from around the way to beat the shit out of him if the decrepit old man didn’t pay. I don’t know that the attack ever occurred, but the contract was out there.
Lomax, one of the thugs, told me in casual conversation: “If you want a really tight pussy, fuck a girl who’s pregnant. There’s nothing like it.”
All this was nothing compared to the depravity I was destined to meet in Barclay.
After the last break-in,
I called my landlord again. Now he had a unit available on Patterson Park Avenue, overlooking the park. It was, in fact, the exact same apartment I’d lived in from 1979 to December 1990. I took it, and remained there until 2004.
pertinent The William Tell Show:
assume people mean what they say.
Assume they think they’re being honest.
You may not believe what they say,
but it’s best to assume they believe it.
If someone says they’re fleeing crime, believe them.
Postscript: As to the tablet, I managed to find, buy and obtain an exact replacement within days. On the one I lost, recall that I had had several apps open; and I had no lock on the screen. Someone could have done a lot of damage. The one thing it turns out the person did do, was, of all things, change my password on this blog! Why would someone do that?