The Man Inside the Window

10 August 2009

If a man's home is his castle, mine is not a very good one.

Last Thursday, while I was at work, someone scaled the wall behind my apartment building and got in an open window, making off with a number of items. They took a random assortment of objects, from the large (my desktop computer) to the small (a box of cuff links), and many things in between.

It's a disorienting feeling, knowing that your little corner of the world isn't as private as it once was. I've found myself wondering a lot of things the past few days. Some of them are mundane (how am I going to clean all the fingerprinting powder off?) and some of them are practical (what passwords do I have to change for security?).

The biggest thing that nags at me, though, is the question of who this uninvited guest into my apartment was. Was it a he? (Probably.) Was it one person or more? What's he look like? What does he think of me?

It's an imbalance. These are questions he has the means of answering about me. He has all my files, years' worth of photographs, writing, bookmarks, and so on. I often wonder what he thinks of me. I don't know if he's even bothered to switch my computer on. He spent some time rifling through my things. Did he puzzle over a broken pocketwatch? Was he disapproving of my wardrobe? Did he like my taste in art? (Evidently not enough to take it with him.)

I've now got this mystery presence in my life, this person whose life is now connected to mine, who I know nothing about. Oddly, all in all, that's what I find the most interesting, the most disturbing. Whose life have I thus intersected?