An Uncapped Pen

July 14, 2008

Case Closed

Filed under: About Me — cindylv @ 6:03 am

I don’t know you.  I don’t know who you are.  But you seem to have gotten away with it. You picked up a rock.  You picked my window.  You threw your damned rock through my window, bent my blinds and stole my computer.   You left a mess in my office.  And in my life.

Are you the guy who delivers the flyers from local restaurants?  The guy from the mobile car wash service?  How ’bout the guy from the courier service?  Did you come in my office one day and see my oversized flat screen monitor and decide you needed it more than I did?

Did you know that the picture on my background screen is my Grandson?   He lives in Texas.  I get to see him about once a year.  And every day when I would boot up my system and see his smiling face I felt like crying because my Grandson is growing up, spending another day, a thousand miles away. 

Did you know he calls me “Grandmop” and my husband is “Grandpop”?

And those photos in my iPhoto Library?  Those are from my research trip to Arizona last year for the novel I’m writing.  Did you know that?  I got lost on that trail and took photos to document each wrong turn, each decision I made, and every javelina I saw.  You stole my vacation.

The short story on my desktop? That’s the one  I submitted that to the Writer’s Digest Short Story competition.  It was my first ever short story, and it represents the first time I was brave enough to submit an entry to a competition.  It’s based on my Dad’s childhood in Scotland, when he and his brothers were evacuated away from Glasgow to a farm miles and miles from home, in case you’re interested. If you can even read.

Those dog pictures?  That’s Corky, my Austrialian Shepherd I lost last year.  She was 14 years old, in pain and ready to go.  I can’t imagine telling you anything else about her because you’re probably not the kind of person who cares about dogs.

In case you’re interested, those project files are for the hospitals my boss designs here in Nevada.  And California. Utah.  Texas. And 10 other states.   The NICU in project 0415 is particularly amazing.  He developed a system for lighting the room to accommodate the tiny patients, their families and the staff — three levels of lighting, depending on the situation.  That represents countless hours spent watching parents and their premature babies in incubators…Nevermind, you wouldn’t understand.  You’re not human.

Did you happen to read the letters my boss sends to the child he sponsors in India through the local diocese? Or see the photos from his birthday party in Chicago last year when he turned 70?   He rented a private club next to the John Hancock Center, and invited his family and his oldest friends.  I hope you enjoy his memories.

Those 517 emails I’ve been saving?  I had a few from Tim Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty series.  And Sandra Scofield, who wrote, “The Scene Book.”  I screwed up my courage and sent these authors an email one day.  And they responded.  They sent me messages brimming with encouragement and enthusiasm.  I kept them to read on days when I had no courage or enthusiasm.  The emails from my friends, the jokes, the stories, the recipies, I hope you get a good chuckle.  I also hope your Madelines come out springy and light.  Mine never did, but I’m still trying.

I don’t know who you are, and neither do the police.  Unlike the CSI team on CBS, the Las Vegas police have thrown in the towel after a few days.  They’ve closed the case.

I know that I’m supposed to let go and move on.  We’ve swept up the broken glass and replaced the equipment.  I’ve been holding it in, pretending to move forward.  But dammit, I’m angry. 

Pissed off.  Furious!  How dare you smash your rock into my life and take my memories, my stories, my pictures and my life… and drag it away to sell to an electronic chop shop.

I’m not ready to forgive and forget.  I’m not ready to make nice with my new computer with it’s 24″ monitor.  You stole my five-year old POS computer that crashed every day, and you probably sold it for parts.  And you left me with a shiny black rock with your fingerprints.

I hope you get what you deserve in this life.



  1. Wow, Cyndy —

    First, I’m SO sorry about this ever having happened.

    Second, that’s a powerful piece of writing. Good for you to recognize a punch in the nose as material. Hang onto every bit of it, but park it in the Material Library in your brain rather than clutching it to your heart. When you need it again — for writing — it’ll find its way to your heart instantly.

    Think of all the kinds of victimization that would create these emotions. This is very, very valuable stuff.

    Sorry if any of that sounds like I’m minimizing your loss. You made it eminently clear how deep the loss is. But it’s a real arrow in your quiver as a writer.


    Comment by Timothy Hallinan — July 14, 2008 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Tim. I got tired of holding it all in with a plastic smile. I needed to get it off my chest and down on “paper” so I can begin to start thinking about maybe letting go—a tiny, little bit.

    Comment by cindylv — July 14, 2008 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  3. Oh Cindy, I knew you lost your laptop, but I didn’t realize (though I should have) how much of yourself was in there.

    Maybe the computer realized that it was not your loving hands doing the boot and it self destructed…one could hope.

    Welcome back in CONUS Tim!

    Comment by angel — July 15, 2008 @ 4:53 am | Reply

  4. We have all been victims of crimes at one time or another, there is not excuse for it, it’s about bad parenting, failing school system and spoiled kids, drugs, gangs, justice system that has high recidivism rates, its disgusting.

    Comment by Lance Winslow — July 15, 2008 @ 5:48 am | Reply

  5. Angel: Thanks, hon. It wasn’t my laptop. It was my desktop and monitor. They painstakingly disconnected and unplugged everything, and took what they wanted. Fortunately, they left behind the backup hard drive so we’re back in business. It’s just the idea that some slime ball is rifling through my treasures that I can’t deal with. I can only hope that the darn thing explodes in their faces!

    Lance: I guess I’ve been spoiled living in my protected bubble. To me, crime is something I hear about on TV, like bad weather (and I live in Las Vegas where we have no weather). This is the first time I’ve felt the sting and I’m shocked at my own reaction. The morning of the incident, the cop even commented, “You’re taking this rather well.” I sort of slipped into task-mode for the first few days. Now I’ve found myself wallowing and woe-ing. Today is the day I shake it off, tuck in my wings and resume formation.

    Comment by cindylv — July 15, 2008 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  6. Since I’m so late to the game, I hope enough time has gone by that you have managed to let this go. It’s a horrid violation and I imagine I would have similar feelings.

    Comment by lisakenney — July 17, 2008 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  7. Lisa, my gemini nature won’t let me stew for long. Maybe just another 100 years or so. And I’m starting to get more used to the look and feel of my new equipment. Thanks for your confirmation that I’m not alone in how I feel about this.

    Comment by cindylv — July 17, 2008 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

  8. Hi Cindy,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I hundred percent agree with Tim. You’ve acted very well. Not only do I hope that it explodes in their face, I literally mean it. I get riled and violent about personal things being stolen or the privacy of bits and pieces of our lives with others.

    I thought i’d email you a couple of days ago. I didn’t know this had happened.

    Recover fast, as I know you shall, Sincerely

    PS: I am planning to come out of my self- imposed hibernation and shall soon be back on my blog.

    Comment by usman — July 18, 2008 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  9. Thanks, USman. I’ve missed you, and look forward to your posts again.

    Comment by cindylv — July 21, 2008 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

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