A little after ten at night our daughter texted that she was done with play practice. I went downstairs, opened the garage, and drove to get her. Twenty minutes later, we were home when a neighbor texted that she had seen four tough-looking boys who had been in our garage. Uh oh.
Our other daughter just got her license and doesn't like to carry her wallet. She leaves it in the glove compartment of the car in the garage, the one that is unlocked, the one the kids went through. Her wallet was gone.
This wasn't too terrible. In her wallet were four dollars, her driver's license, a school ID three years out of date, two gift cards, a couple slips of paper, and her bank card. She cancelled the bank card while I went out to see if the thieves had dumped the wallet. A block away I found the empty wallet. She said, "at least I don't have to buy a new wallet."
This morning, walking the dog, my wife found the slips of paper. While we were at school a stranger found the license and left it in our mailbox. This afternoon, walking the dog, we found the gift cards. In total, our girl is out four dollars and an old high school ID. She doesn't even have to wait for a bank card. The phone app still works.
I told her, you lead a pretty good life. She nodded.
Last night, around midnight I found the clip on our Wyzecam of the boys walking down the street. A big puke of a kid peels off and goes into our garage. He waddles out a minute later with the wallet. I stayed awake imagining happy endings such as him getting arrested, shot in a driveby, or somehow having his nuts sliced off. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the father.
I see how people turn to a hard kind of politics. I wanted that lard ass on a platter. My daughter figures he's from her high school just like the kid who broke into our house a few years ago. I think that kid is in jail and I'm okay with him rotting there. I debated the proper fate for this new kid for an hour last night, but it's a bad idea to make decisions when feeling hurt, angry, and unsafe. Better to respond than react. Locking the car in the garage and closing the door at night even when I'll be right back, these are wise responses. Getting lost in revenge is a bad reaction that gets in the way of my living a good life.
I had revenge on a kid like this once. In middle school, Robert was a prick who bullied the hell out of me. I imagined every pains I wanted to befall him. Fifteen years later, at a traffic light, I saw him in a shitbox car, a cigarette in his mouth, a grimace marring his face. He looked old and rundown. I'll admit that made me happy. Living well may be the only real revenge.
The moron who took our daughter's wallet got four dollars but it won't be worth even that much. Our girl will keep going, onward and upward. That piece of shit is likely already circling the bowl. My final thought of him last night was that he probably has only a fifty-fifty shot of surviving the next ten years.
With all our daughter's stuff restored, with a new understanding of keeping ourselves safe, and with the notion that the thief doesn't matter much to me, I bet I sleep just fine tonight.