Day 60: Den of thieves
It’s been a long week. So many things stolen and so many calls to retrieve them from thieves needing to live. Though not a preferred profession, it is one nevertheless. Same goals as any other: Make ends meet. Different skills: Deception and lies, but keen observation. The story needs to be told to understand the meaning of our life on the road with vultures hovering over to pick up the things. Whatever things are left. The players are many, vastly spread and moving apart. The things moving quickly to unseen places. From one thief to another, eventually to someone. Somewhere.
The break into our car was such a stark shift in life from the beautiful celebration of your internship in the program and the even more compelling presentation by Ellen. A smashed window and all things gone. So the calls began. The first from Mike, Clackamas County Sheriff to report on Samuel, with a long rap sheet caught in a bank, writing a check to himself with your mom’s signature. On the run and likely to be caught and put back on the street. Too many thieves to hold. Much like the world of fishing: catch and release. Then Hernando from Rockwood Station, his English too frail and burner phone too poor, so the connection was lost. A call from our good friend by now, Alex, whose finance was to return the laptop at the Dairy Queen on 174th and Division during a long night of hide and seek. Another call from Alex, but a different Alex, with a small computer. Another offer. Another buy-back program. A strange re-distribution of wealth. Thieves moving about with stories that were incomplete. Made for the moment.
Finally, the call yesterday, from the Blue and White Storage Unit in Creswell, your temporary home as we moved you from Portland to heaven. Another break in. So many things gone from Unit 36, safely tucked inside what looks secure with gates and cameras. Bin upon bin stolen or raided. A TV and iPad. Your vintage collection of professional team jerseys you needed to wear in fashion as a younger. Your collection of shoes: your thing, ever since you were a kid and would draw new models of shoes, all of them Nike. All things of KT, curated during a life time growing up and now sorted by you to take along in your latest venture to Portland. So much taken that it had to done in broad daylight, past the open gates, in a car. Scott, the caretaker, so smitten with rage, committed to finding them but needing to be contained by Bryan, the Lane County Sheriff.
Buddy, the events of this last week have made for an uneven understanding of life and death. We’ve met so many people who weren’t part of our life, most of them thieves who have no idea they’re taking things that are only things to be replaced and mean nothing.
Mostly, we’re saddened. Saddened by the desecration of your life reflected in your values and the things you just had to have as a kid, a young adult. But the thieves couldn’t take you. They missed the essence of your life. They took the things, but not your soul. Your spirit of excitement and presence when you walked in a room. Your footballer attitude to play the game. Be in the game and keep moving. The photos with you and your things, now a memory and a story. A memory of a life well lived. With us.
It’s been a long week and we hope for no more phone calls. We want to quietly remember your life and focus on what life is about. Be there for others. Be helpful. Listening. We love you buddy and we need no things to keep your memory alive.