To the Person, Thief and Miscreant who stole my iPod:
I wish I could have been there to see the circumstances. Were you cruising my neighborhood, checking each car’s door handle, actively searching for something worth taking? Or did you just happen to walk past my Subaru, just happen to look inside, see my iPod plugged into the cigarette lighter and just happen to find the door unlocked?
Was it premeditated or was it spur of the moment – does it matter?
I don’t think it really matters. The fact is you stole from me and I gave you an easy opportunity by leaving my driver’s side door unlocked. I am as angry with myself as I am with you. This, however, does not justify your actions.
So now that you have a newly acquired toy, loaded to the brim with music that you will probably not appreciate or understand – I guarantee I have better music taste and knowledge than you – let me take this time to tell you a little about what you stole from me.
My iPod is named after one of my favorite television characters – a loving father, storyteller and jazz lover – Dr. Huxtable.
Also, what you probably assume I purchased with money out of my fat and overflowing wallet without a second thought about the price was actually a gift from my mother. She purchased it – with love in her eyes combined with a sense of, “You do know how expensive this is for us don’t you,” – just before I moved to London. It was a way for me to carry all the music that has such a strong influence on my life with me for the next two years abroad.
It is inscribed LVIII on the back. I was actually proud to have my initials on something as luxurious as this little black jukebox.
My iPod traveled with me to London, where we quickly ran out of money, couldn’t find sufficient housing and practically starved every day. But Dr. Huxtable was there to tell me stories, lift my spirits and, like Theo in every episode, sometimes I learned a valuable lesson.
I came back to the states jobless, broke and confused – Dr. Huxtable was there. As I lived on the floor of my girlfriend’s parent’s house for three months in Atlanta, as we packed up her Toyota and drove across America (for the third time) together, as we lived in my mother’s basement for three months searching for jobs, housing and a general “place” in the world at large – Dr. Huxtable was there.
And as I lay in bed at night, unable to quiet the roaring stress, I could always count on hitting “shuffle,” and Dr. Huxtable knew exactly on what platter to drop the needle.
So here’s the deal.
I didn’t lose any music. I never put anything on my iPod that I didn’t own the album for. I know that an iPod is an object and there are more – much more – important things in this life than what we own. But I just wanted you to know, as the thief who crossed into my world and took what did not belong to you, that when you steal something from someone, there is no possible way of knowing the whole story.
When you stole my iPod, you took more than a MP3 player, you stole a link to my memories, my history and a little of my faith in humanity. And faith and trust in one’s neighbors is not as easily replaced.
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