Dear Officer Hodgson,
You know when you came to my property the other day in response to my request to prosecute the large, Latin man with the pink shirt and denim shorts who trespassed upon my property? I was in such a state of anger and feeling violated because of an intruder and vagrant picking my gate and entering my home in broad daylight with such audacity and chutzpa. To me, this wanton transgression could mean nothing less than murder and rape of my grandchildren were lurking at my doorstep.
But today is another day and maybe opportunity is knocking at my door instead of Satan. With your help, I learned something good and bad about myself today.
If you recall, it’s a small 650 square-foot apartment downtown in the East Village Arts District and everything is neatly organized to accommodate my next Airbnb guests. I have exactly six pillows on the bed that are displayed for form and function. For the past 24 hours I’ve been blaming cleaning ladies and lovers for taking one of the six pillows, leaving an uneven five. That was only to have one of the brightest lightbulbs go off in what can only be characterized as my dimly lit brain — it was the large, Latin man in the pink shirt and denim shorts who I caught walking through my open French doors on my Nest cam.
He didn’t take my iPad on the nightstand. When you asked if he took alcohol or my bank bag with $250 in cash, I told you he did not. And I remember feeling lucky or maybe feeling as though I had finally stumbled on some good karma or maybe something else.
But it turns out to be something else altogether — and here is where I feel real shame and hope to use this personal blight as a learning opportunity. It turns out the large Latin man in the pink T-shirt and denim shorts only wanted a cushion for his head to separate it from the cold asphalt at night. That’s all he wanted. He was willing to take a risk of what you told me was a misdemeanor of trespassing — for a pillow!
There’s probably an argument for breaking and entering too. But he was willing to take that chance. I don’t know about you, but I’d call that courage. Moreover, the mere fact that he could have taken the iPad, $250 in cash and the booze speaks volumes to his character. I’d venture to say I could learn a refinement of my own character from him.
I feel crappy for being so reactionary and prejudging another human being no better or no worse than myself. But I feel good now because I will always think differently now when I see a homeless person with their head on concrete or asphalt. In fact, I may even go find five more heads that can use the small comfort I can certainly well afford tonight.
Let me know if there is anything formal I need to do to withdraw my complaint.
Mike Stoltz is an East Village resident.