the art of stealingpublished: 2012-05-12
A man I have worked with visits me in my dreams. He is accompanied by a woman. His curly hair is even wilder than it was in real life, and he is skinnier, younger. A cooler version of him. Harsher too, because in real life he’s big and cuddly. He isn’t nice at all though, in my dreams.
The doors to my magnificent home are open. He barged in as I was trying to lock them. It seems he had been watching me. He is pointing a laser-type gun, a tiny sharp light shines from it. He is here to steal, he says. Because I know him, I can’t help smiling, being courteous and helpful. I show him around. He and the girl take a few irrelevant things that aren’t theirs. I am relieved to discover they believe my lie: there is nothing of value here, is what I tell them. While in actual fact there is, but it’s all hidden. My laptop, for example, is under my pillow.
They take me with them in their car. It’s a kidnap, officially, but I am not resisting. He seems apologetic and I keep smiling. I hate myself for being nice. Because even though I know him, he’s doing me wrong isn’t he? I do however manage to threaten him: you wouldn’t want me to tell the Dutch film association about this would you? He smiles back, while giving the gear-stick a hard push. We’re not going anywhere specific, just on and off highways. And the girl in the back is quiet. Irrelevant almost. Then he brings me back home. I’ve given him what he wants, apparently. As I walk up to my home, I feel really good about myself for having handled this so well. This could have been far worse.
But on opening the door I discover my house has been wrecked completely. Nothing has been left untouched, unshattered, unbroken, undamaged. Everything of value has gone and all is broken. I have nothing left. I turn around to see him smile again, devilishly this time, as he drives off. I have never felt such complete despair.