A quick story about my keys, one that some of you have apparently heard already. Last Friday — the day before WVU didn’t play — I went to the food store and bought many items. When I got home, I decided to carry all the bags in at once. So I kept my keys in my hand, threaded my arms through the handles of the plastic bags, took the short series of steps from my car to the front door, unlocked the door and put the groceries on the counter in the kitchen.
My dog started going nuts, and I noticed two people on my front porch and that the storm door was closing. So I walked from the kitchen to the door and calmed my dog along the way. The two youths were gone, and I spotted them going up on the porch of another house on the block. This did not seem unusual. I figured, from the kitchen, they were bible salesmen or people looking to sell magazine subscriptions to fund a trip to France. But they were dressed like hobos. They weren’t Jehova’s Witnesses. I couldn’t find a takeout menu in the mailbox. I didn’t recognize them. And now they were going to a third house.
Something was wrong, so I called the non-emergency number for the police department. It wasn’t long until I realized my keys — the keys to the house and to my car and my wife’s car — we gone. Pilfered!
The past 10 days have been as much of a nuisance as you’d imagine. A saga. I changed the locks on the house right away, and we’re parking one car in our one-car garage. The other car? I bought that one used. I only have one key for it. That key is gone now, so I can’t move the car. I took a tire off so no one could drive away in it. My wife slept on the couch the first night. (She said she was being vigilant. I don’t think she was mad at me.) We had a neighborhood watch-ish bonfire the next night. My keys have The Tile, and the only time it’s dinged lately was the morning after. That was a fruitless and desperate search, except that we discovered the two suspects had, I guess, harassed an elderly couple in the neighborhood, up to and including asking the woman at the door, “Are you here alone?” That was not cool. We’re keeping an eye on that.
Fortunately, I have exquisite auto insurance. I was sure I was going to get screwed by some technicality, but all the locks and keys and key fobs are being replaced at no cost. But this is infuriating, to say the least. You didn’t do anything wrong, but your world gets flipped. You think you’ve taken precautions, but just when you start to feel normal — or as normal as you can when people have your keys, to say nothing of the troubling nerve to come up on your porch to take those keys — you hear a house noise or a car starting. The dog barks at 1 a.m. The UPS guy drops a package between your storm door and front door. Someone is behind you when you walk from the football stadium to your house.
You’re antsy. You get rattled. You really can’t relax until you know it’s finished.
It’s hard to explain, or so I thought. Then Saturday happened, and as I read these texts, I felt that maybe you felt how I’d felt. Things are going perfectly normal, and then something unthinkable happens. You never saw it coming. You don’t know who to blame. You’re sure it’s going to end badly, that someone’s out to get you one way or another, but you discover there’s a redeeming finish to the story. You want to just exhale and get back to normal, but you know better than to let down your guard until everything is complete. And you know it’s going to take a while to get there, so you better brace yourself for all the headaches that have to happen before then.
Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars. Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are. As my memory rests but never texts what I lost. My edits are in [brackets].
Gameday crew unanimously picks WVU. Should i throw in the towel now?
Hey, Mike. Do you have any KEYS to this game you want to share with us?
17 yo son begged me to take him to this game. Apparently, kids today have much different definition for Cougars.
I have friends who went to Utah. They hate BYU palpably. They want us to hurt BYU.
The Pitt SID has announced the crowd at FedEx Field at 90,000. Amazing!
The game hasn’t even started and I have already muted ESPN 2!
The crowd in the upper deck has come dressed as Pitt fans.