Feb 16, 2006

TIME-LAPSE REALITY
I was home in Seattle just two days between Quebec's Carnaval and Louisiana's Mardi Gras.

Many items had ... shifted. Nothing malicious: dirty coffee cups were clean, some plates were tidied into the wrong spot, a jade plant migrated rooms. Jake the Tabby and Molly Alleycat, no matter how clever, were clearly not the culprits.

Nope. Someone with thumbs had meddled.

Late night, after long flights and greasy airport food, such changes are disconcerting. I rang S., who shares this 100-year-old duplex and frequently cat-sits, permitting me to lark about the globe.

"Um, did you wash up?" I was forced to ask. "Or maybe your mom..."

Her mum is famously enthusiastic about domestic duties – and sometimes fills in, minding this five-cat house when we're both away.

Not that I'm ungrateful, just unnerved.

"Yeah, I'm so sorry," S. said. "I meant to leave you a message. She stayed over because someone broke into my apartment while you were gone. I was too freaked out to sleep here."

***

Hell's bells. I'm home about 85% of the time S. isn't. And I'm alert; I recently stopped a bike theft in the alley. Yet some beast threw rocks through her window at four o'clock in the afternoon, then prowled the flat. I was in Quebec. She was at the emergency room, tending her father (who recovered, but still, extra helping of bad karma there).

Inevitably, we both fretted. Was someone watching our home, aware that I'd abandoned sentinel duty? Or was it sheer coincidence? For business, I have a PO Box, an unlisted number ... Still I worried: had this blog somehow contributed to the incident?

Probably not. Three other neighbors were burgled on this block. In every case, the robbers ignored bulky, big-ticket items, preferring to paw through drawers for drugs and money (so say the cops). These thieves seemed opportunistic and impulsive, not wily cyberstalkers.

Nevertheless, it's a good excuse for some lag-time in this journal. So Road Remedies will trail behind reality a bit; partly because I do, partly for security.

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