Car Thief

Today was the kind of day where you wake up and don’t expect anything particularly interesting to happen. It was Monday, it was raining, the beach was perfectly calm and not at all windy. But then, against all odds, at 2:30 in the afternoon, I witnessed somebody rob a car. 

I have never seen anybody rob a car before, nor for that matter, even commit a crime. I did see someone steal mascara but he returned it, so I don’t know if that counts. 

Afterwards, I had to give a statement about what I saw to a police officer with tattoos. It seems like a very simple thing to do but is, in actuality, quite difficult. I never thought I would be so inadequate at remembering if someone was wearing a hat or not. 

When the policeman asked me what kind of car it was, I helplessly said red. It made me feel a little bad because I felt like I was very useless and should have been more helpful. I also felt like I should have been able to offer more information or have all the right answers; in general, this is not true at all, though many people think it is. 

Then the police left, the car thief was off somewhere escaping on his scooter, and I went back to my unmade bed and rainy window. I poured myself a glass of red wine and watched an episode of New Girl. 

I would like to reveal that something exciting and meaningful happened after this – that maybe the car thief got caught, that helicopters started circling the area, that my poorly-remembered statement made a difference. Instead, the plot ended and my day went on, the car thief’s day went on, the police officer with the tattoo’s day went on. 

The event was a single incident; a brief moment of something out of the ordinary on an otherwise ordinary Monday. There were probably a million other cars being robbed all around the world today. Apparently in the United States, a car is stolen every 6 minutes. You can’t stop things from happening if they are going to happen. Things happen to people every day: some people steal cars and other people’s cars get stolen and the rest of us stand in the window and happen to see.

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