A thoughtful letter to the burglar who stole all our stuff

Dear friend,

I imagine that by now you have fenced all $13,000 worth of our electronics, jewelry, clothes, and assorted equipment. Although many have been angry – even wrathful – on my behalf, I find that I can not join them. I choose, instead, to believe in a fanciful story that explains why my fellow human being would take so much from me, even including

  • My bike.
  • My favorite winter jackets.
  • One steak knife.
  • A harmonica.
  • Curling iron, shampoo and conditioner.
  • Art markers.
  • Several pairs of underwear.

And so on.

I choose to believe that you were a brilliant scientist researching a cure for cancer. I think that the entirety of your funding was from a government program, and that you were on the verge – the very cusp – of discovery when our federal government shut down. Your livelihood, your work, a possible cure to the world’s most horrid disease… all gone in a moment.

Out of desperation, you must have begged on hands and knees for emergency funding. Your samples wouldn’t last long, and their destruction would render your years of careful, continued data moot.

But your pleas fell on deaf ears. You were a rebel in your community, a rogue. A man I would probably admire, in fact. Your “crazy” ideas caused your colleagues to laugh in your face, and potential backers to quickly leave the room. They mocked you.

You turned to your bank for a loan only to be turned away. You had already mortgaged your humble house to pay for your young daughter’s surgery. Poor Jenny. She may not live to see Christmas. Jenny has her mother’s eyes… her mother, long dead, killed by a disease she picked up while feeding orphans in Haiti. You must have loved her greatly.

Begging had failed you. But, you thought, stealing wouldn’t.

You were making Jenny a simple poor man’s breakfast while a tear rolled down your cheek. You knew what you had to do that day you stole all our belongings. Including, for some reason, our underwear. You had seen us at the local park and followed us home earlier that week, picking us as targets because we were young and carefree and had years to earn more money to replace all the stuff you would take.

You watched us leave our apartment, pulled up your van, and climbed our fire escape. You crowbarred your way in. Then, you ransacked the apartment for the most expensive items that would fit in our luggage, which you also stole, along with our underwear.

You cursed yourself. What had you become?

You quickly got cash for our stuff and ran back to your laboratory. Just in time. You were able to pay for your supplies and finish the last leg of your testing.

A cure! You had found it!

You smiled, sat back in your swivel chair, and breathed for what seemed the first time in years. You cried then. Tears of joy, tears of frustration, of bitterness. You cried and you sent off the results to your colleagues. You exited your laboratory and walked outside.

And then you got hit by a bus.

Because fuck you.

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