picking up the pieces

I stand in my bedroom, in the dark, hands on my face, surveying the open dresser drawers, bare nightstands, and glass on the floor. The heavy July air pushes in through the open window and I hear my own voice in a manic chant, "Who the fuck steals lamps? Who the fuck steals lamps?"

It's been said that nothing bad can happen to a writer, because everything is material. 
In other words, catastrophes make for interesting stories. 
I can't disagree.

In mid July, Ryan and I traveled to a sleepy mountainside in southern New Hampshire to see my best friend get married. It was breathtaking [photo as evidence]. 

Days later, we arrive home after midnight. We'd driven to the airport separately, and so Ryan pulls into the driveway maybe a minute before me. I cut the engine and start to step out of the car when he asks, "Did you put something in front of the door before you left?"

Me: "No. What are you talking about?"
Him: "Did you leave a light on?"
Me: "No," racking my memory and at the same time fighting the immediate dread that pulls at my throat.

Him: "I just tried the door and it won't open."

We walk together around the front yard and see nothing. We walk into the backyard and notice a small silver-colored stake sticking out of the grass.

"What's that?" I'm asking at the same moment my eyes dart up to the back of the house. Light shines out through the shattered window.
We'll later realize that the metal stake is our curtain rod.

Adrenaline tells me to run, and I do. I grab my bag (phone inside), and then I'm standing at our neighbor Jerry's door, trying to knock in a non-frantic way but failing as my knuckles hit faster and faster to no avail. 

In the background I hear Ryan on the phone with 911. I'm pleading with him to walk away from our house, to get out of sight, imagining the intruder running toward us, gun raised.

Minutes later, three cop cars appear. They search the house, find it empty, then ask us to identify what's missing.

And that's where this story began. Me, in the bedroom. Our bedside lamps missing. I'm staring at a naked pillow, whose case was likely used to carry my jewelry box, laptop, our knife set, DVD player, and iPod dock. Our kitchen stools are gone. The table that matches was left behind in the hallwaypropped against the door—which explains why Ryan couldn't open it in the first place.

An hour passes. The police take photos. Search for fingerprints. Bear witness to me collapsing in the kitchen when I realize that, with my computer gone, I'm missing years of photos and writing. Then they're gone as quickly as they came, and Ryan and I are left.

Fear is a terrible emotion. I'm scared to stay at the house, but scared to leave it again. It's a feeling that lingers for weeks.
But as we lay wide-eyed in our own guest bedroom that night, tucked away in the basement, he wrapped his arms around me and whispered, "Tomorrow, we'll start picking up the pieces."

And we have. In the months that have passed, we've replaced what we could. I still miss the irreplaceable things—my mom's rosary beads, my aunt's earrings, etc.—but remind myself that they're only things. Then I remind myself that karma is a huge bitch, and someone out there has one hell of tidal wave headed their way.

I've neglected to blog since this incident, knowing I had to write about it and also knowing it would force me to relive it. Even now it makes my heart pound. But now it's done, down and out, and we can move on. Here's to happier things.


doggie DNA results

The Humane Society thought she was part German Shepherd
The vet thought she was part Doberman
The husband thought she was part Beagle.

...want to take a guess?

Turns out our little pup is an American Bulldog/American Staffordshire Terrier mix. The mix part could be anything from Chow Chow to Saluki (never heard of it). Completely amazed that they can trace back to GREAT grandparents!