Monday, February 27, 2006

I don’t feel good. It’s five in the morning and I am up. I set the alarm so early because I have a ton of online grading to do. The system crashed last night (not mine, theirs) so that has left me behind a bit. I also have to decide if I am going to work. I don’t think that I am, as I need to go to the bank and other high priority tasks.

Jes has been great this weekend, helping me to keep focused on silver linings. We had planned to go to Mardi Gras on Saturday and despite the car theft we went anyway and had a great time, we even had some friends over for breakfast, because you just have to get on with things when life sends in the curve balls. The current plan is to give the police two weeks to find the car and then we start looking to buy one. Plans make you feel in control when of course you aren’t.

I talked to my dad last night and felt bad having to tell him. I had obviously put it off for a few days. He’s just sick about it. In our family there is this odd connection to cars. I might as well have told him someone chopped off my arm. I have the dubious distinction of being the first family member in the entire extended chain (which is not a small group of people) to have their car stolen. I am the prodigal deadbeat, the one who just can’t seem to get it together despite talent and intelligence. I am the source of much late life worry. It makes me ill to worry them. I am more than willing to sell out, but no one is buying what I have to sell.

So anyway, I had just put a large amount of money, around twelve hundred dollars, into new tires and other repairs. I can live with kids joyriding till they run out of gas, what makes me really sick is the thought of my van up on blocks somewhere with my new tires being taken off to put on the same model and make car that is owned by the thieves. This is what my father thinks has happened to it.
When I called the police to check on it yesterday I ended the call by saying something like, “I’m not sure how this works. Should I keep checking back in every few days?” The officer said, “We’ll call you unless you find it first, in which case you can call us and we’ll take it off the list.” There’s a not so subtle implication there that I am going to have just as much luck finding it as they are. Part of my plan is actually to go search the local school parking lots today. I am told that the kids do drive their newly stolen cars to school.

I live in a high crime area with a poorly funded police force. The majority of crimes are property crimes. I don’t know how to feel about this. I don’t like the thought of living anywhere where this sort of crime is common. I admire the rebirth that the city is experiencing, honestly it is so much better than it was, but I don’t have the personal means to subsidize the reconstruction through the theft of my property. Part of me wants out ASAP. “But Karl, then they win.” “Yup, they win – good for them, I’m not interested in playing by these rules thanks.”

The thing is there really is no out. Crime is everywhere. It’s just a question of whether or not you are the one that gets hit. Back in the ville the meth trade and the poverty resulted in all kinds of crime and even murder. It’s the same here, just on a bigger scale. Despite that, I really am thinking much more seriously about the rural districts.

I haven’t done my taxes yet, but as a full time student I didn’t make much money in the past year. I earned well less than fifteen thousand dollars total. How do you live on that? You take out massive student loans. If you figure that I had maybe three thousand invested in the car with only liability insurance (because who would steam my car) then I am out a significant and irreplaceable chunk of my overall net worth for the year. Ah well, I need to shower and get back in the game coach. I’ll keep you posted on how the inning goes.


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