Falling Apart Season


On this late spring day I went to the police station to retrieve my stuff (as the AG put it, “Someone came into your house and took your stuff.”) Now that our thief’s in prison I figured he doesn’t need it. Our detective agreed. It’s a strange system, you say your name and case number into a one-way phone then wait on a bench with the other retrievers until a young woman with brown hair who looks way to young for her police uniform comes up from the bowels of the building and calls your name. You sign a form and she gives you your stuff.

In my case, the stuff was some filters for my camera. The woman who came in while I was waiting wanted something else. I couldn’t help overhearing, “I’m here to pick up the notebook from my husband’s suicide.” Then she hung up the one-way phone, sat next to me on the bench and explained it had been six months, thank God he didn’t do it at home, she only wishes when he’d told her he was going to call in sick to work she hadn’t nagged him “You’ve only been working there for a week! Why do you have to take time off now, for God’s sake?” She didn’t know he was going to do it. After, she found some pawn tickets in his room. They were for his coin collection. His will said the coins were to go to his son, so she went to the pawn shop and retrieved them. That was no fun – guns all over to remind her. How old were her kids? “Grown, thank God. It would be awful if I had little ones around the house.” The notebook held his suicide note. She already knew what it said. The police told her. But she wanted it anyway. The police officer gave her a clear plastic bag and she walked slowly out the door.

Then a young woman came in to retrieve her wallet and her galaxy. She explained that a galaxy is like an IPad — she’d show me when it came. She had accused her friend of stealing it, but turns out she lost it on the bus. With her wallet. Those also came in clear plastic bags. She did show me and it did look a lot like an IPad.

When my turn came I grabbed my camera filters, grabbed my camera, grabbed my dog, and headed for the hills. What else to do?


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2 Responses to Falling Apart Season

  1. Julie says:

    I had the rare experience to pick up my “stuff” and I found out how it might feel to actually be the criminal….it’s a strange experience! And I did as you did, I headed for the hills when I was done!

  2. Liz Jensen says:

    My apartment was robbed in the spring of my first year of graduate school. I also went to pick up my “stuff”. It was surreal. I was in college and had nothing, yet they took it. When I retrieved my answering machine, the robbers voice told me to leave a message. By the way, it was delivered to me in a clear plastic bag. I was however, lucky enough to get back the St. Elizabeth’s Medal that Mrs. Irving Berlin gave to my when I was born. I wore it today.