A Rogers Park Zorro, I am Not

Published Date: October 22nd, 2010
Category: Weekly Thought

Fantasie-Impromptu in C-Sharp

As I sat listening to Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu being played BEAUTIFULLY by a Juilliard-trained piano soloist at the Fourth Presbyterian’s Friday noon concert series today, tears started rolling down my cheeks. At this moment, I had a glimpse of having faith in humanity again.

And yes, I know in my last post, I still had faith. I had faith in my neighbors and in that wonderful woman who would not stop knocking until I opened the door to find out my house was on fire. I had faith in our friends and family, and it was that faith that was going to get us through this time, this thought that all people are not evil, that yes, bad things do happen to good people and that we could rise from the ashes, Phoenixes from the Flame, and go on.

Until last Saturday, when we found out that all the remaining valuables we had saved from the fire, had been stolen. Our computers, all of our cameras and iPods, my son’s lemonade stand money, my hand-designed diamond earrings that John had given me when G was born. And the totally sentimental Tiffany abstract Madonna and Child pendant my parents had given me once G turned one. The few things that had meant something to us were now gone, thanks to a group of cold-hearted, greedy, dead-in-their-heart thugs who were looking to continue on their path of contributing NOTHING to society and instead, do damage.

They damaged our hearts, our souls, and most importantly, our faith. Because really—who was horrible enough to steal from a family who had already been through so much? A family who watched their house catch on fire in a matter of 3 minutes? A family with a 5-year-old son who hurriedly gathered all his stuffed animals into a pillowcase, knowing that if he didn’t, they might be gone forever?

Turns out lots of people are this horrible. I just did not know this for the past 37 years.

So now we find out time split between getting our house back in order, and attempting to deal with our $10,000 worth of stolen goods. We went through the miserable motions of checking local pawn shops, and I saw these same people again. The same thugs with the dead looks in their eyes, staring at me beneath their low-slung black hats and pierced noses. The same ingrates who believe that THEY are owed everything, even though they contribute NOTHING to society and actually steal from the very society they feel should take care of them.

And for the first time, I felt such an inappropriate wave of violence and hatred in me, a fury towards this group of people that I knew existed, but that had never dared to cross over into MY WORLD. I wanted to be the renegade, the Rogers Park Zorro, the one who MADE a difference and brought these bastards to their knees and drove them from my neighborhood and home that I had loved so much for the past 8 years.

But then I would feel the tug on my pants, and look down to see a little boy looking up at me, someone still thinking that I was able to keep him safe in what I now know is just a really bad world. A little boy who upon entering a hotel room for the first time, will now quickly lock the door, check for fire alarms, and wonder where the fire stairs are.

So for my little boy, every day I wake up and try and hide this fury. I try and put this mask on of still loving this world, this city, although all I really want to do is buy a gun and learn how to shoot it. I want to wrap us all in bullet-proof-armor, never leave the house, and for God’s sake, NEVER run into these cold-hearted people I now see every day. Every person I encounter I now size up as,

“Would this person try and burn down my house? Would this person steal from me?”

And I walk around tense, constantly ready to lash out, constantly ready to quickly get out, constantly going through my mind of what and who I need to save.

Until today. When I went to a simple free concert at a local church.

As the music took me to a calm place and my son silently feel asleep in my arms, I looked around at the people surrounding me. People who had decided to listen to Chopin instead of eating lunch. People who like me, had their eyes closed, slowly smiling at the crescendos they knew were coming since they had, at one point of their lives, played the piece they were listening to.

And I had to. I asked myself my questions. Would these people burn my house and steal from me? And finally a sense of peace came over me as I realized, no, they wouldn’t. Yes, I had unfortunately come in contact with the devils of society, but not all of society was like that.

Some people just like a quiet moment with Chopin.

So now, when I have my moments of fury, I will remember this solitary hour I spent with my son and a handful of good people, and hopefully it will keep me calm. Or at least, give me back some faith.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 1:18 pm and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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