Windows, TVs, and Lessons
This past week has been bizarre.
It was Wednesday. I had taken Barry to visit one of those respite care places. A potential buyer was coming by to look at the house. I went to Schuler’s to buy greeting cards, particularly one for my parents because they are heading back to Florida shortly. While at the bookstore, I had a salad. A busy day. I drove home.
I got home and there were cops all around. Barry comes outside to talk to me. He tells me someone shot into the house, through the living room into the TV, while he watching it. The police ask me questions. I have no answers. Apparently, down the block, a group of four boys were arguing over a girl. One of them pulled out a semi-automatic weapon and fired. The bullet went through my living room window and landed in the TV. There is no exit hole, so the bullet is still inside somewhere. A local station reporter interviews me. I allow him and the police to take pictures. I rake leaves out of nervousness. Someone says that a neighbor down the street caught the whole thing on their cell phone. A neighbor tells me to spend the night elsewhere, just in case. I call my folks and they allow us to spend the night. At first, Barry balks because it would disrupt his routine. Really? If he had continued with that stance, I would have spent the night at my parents’ house anyhow and let him stay at home.
The next day, I call the insurance company. The adjustor suggests that I take some pictures and email them to him. I inform him that I do not have a phone that does that. I also let him know that plenty of pictures were taken by channel 10 and the Lansing Police Department and I give him the police complaint number. He can likely access some of them online. He tells me I need an estimate for the window replacement. Friday, I get one from the window guy. The potential buyer was looking for a larger place, incidentally.
I have been having window drama and TV drama for the past few months. One window is missing a slider. About a month ago, the TV died and (guess who?) my parents got me another one. Then, a couple weeks later, the satellite stopped working. Seriously, what are the odds that the bullet would go through the window and land in the TV? Guess what? My parents have gotten me another TV! There are layers of irony here.
If Barry had been standing in front of the TV, getting up to use the bathroom, he would be dead. Can you imagine the irony? Living through cancer, having Huntington’s, and then being taken down by some unthinking punk’s bullet?
Some New-Agey friends are going to do a blessing on my house. One of them said she thought there was something that didn’t want my house to be sold. I agree. I have had a nightmare for the past year. I call people to help with the house, never to hear from them again, even people I have never had any problems with. Then there was the BB that came within six inches of my head while I was sitting in my chair watching TV. But what does this mean? Is there a spirit in my house that wants to keep me and Barry there? Threatening our safety is not the brightest means to ensure our desire to remain.
There may be lessons to learn here, but I am not sure they are mine. For me, the fundamental problem was that some hot-headed idiot has access to semi-automatic weaponry. I do not believe for one millisecond that the “right to bear arms” in the Constitution has this in mind. Owning a gun would not have kept us one bit safer because this incident had nothing whatsoever to do with us. If I was pro-gun-control before, I am even more so now. The NRA is so full of crap it is not funny. What is funny is my NRA window sticker from the car my parents ever-so-graciously gave me. That thing has got to come off. The police asked if we would press charges. I agreed to do so. However, I am not a witness. I am a victim, property-wise. Barry could easily have been killed. But, in the end, all I want is restitution. I want to see the face of the idiot that shot into my house. I want to be in that courtroom. At the very least, he is guilty of discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling. What kind of defense could be possible? I don’t even know the age or race of the gunman. As Jeb Bush says (frighteningly casually), “Things happen.” When every moron is armed, he is absolutely correct. It is the total disregard for life that gives me chills. Perhaps someday, something will happen to him. But I’m sure no learning would occur. Why start now?
I have no answers.
If there is a lesson for me in this, I am curious as to what it might be.