Our security system went off at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. We thought it was a programming error, but turns out, someone was in our garage. There are a couple of bikes in our garage, and my new car, a lawnmower and some gardening stuff, but it's not a treasure trove for a burglar. At any rate, my husband was on his way out the door to investigate, when I grabbed him by the seat of his pants and told him not to go outside. He went upstairs to try to get a better view when I saw a young man step out of the garage and stare at the house. He must have heard the extremely annoying sound the alarm makes when a door is breached. So there we were, staring at each other. It was a totally weird moment in my life.
At any rate, the burglar was scared off and the cops were at my house within five minutes. It was an unsettling experience, but it made me think about the state of our society. Joblessness. Poverty. Those conditions are extremely evident just a half mile from my house. If people can't get what they need via legitimate methods, the result is that they'll take what they need via any opportunity that presents itself. And who, really, can blame them?
The ever widening gap between the haves and have nots is rapidly bringing societal changes that are less than comfortable. I imagine that our burglar would have been tucked nicely in his bed if he had a job to go to the following morning. Maybe I'm being naive. Our burglar was young, probably not out of his teenage years. When I saw four police officers with guns drawn move into my backyard and the garage, I was somehow relieved that the intruder had taken off. Missing a bike or having a car window broken seems infinitely better than seeing a dead teenager in my garden. I realize I'm feeling conflicted about the whole situation, much the way I'm feeling conflicted about living in America these days.
Regardless, I mentioned to my husband that I was concerned about coming home from work on my next evening shift, because he'll be at our place in the northwoods. His solution was to teach me how to load a pistol and prepare it for firing. Ugh. I'm terrified of guns. But there it is, loaded and ready to maim, in my bedside table. Hopefully, I won't shoot my cat (or my foot) by mistake out of fear and anxiety if my security is threatened. Maybe I'll sleep with my shoes on.
I think that this is just a preview of things to come in America. If we're not all living in fear already (silly fear about defending our possessions, I might add), we will be. I believe the only way to relieve our anxiety would be to actually work to improve the situation of people far less fortunate than us. Seems logical enough. I guess the ultra-wealthy don't understand the motivation of the ultra-poor. And that will be their downfall.