Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Burglars Have Feelings, Too.

31 January 2017

Burglars Have Feelings, Too.


The burglar can’t believe it, his latest victim seems unhampered by all the conveniences of modern living. He has satellite television and a television as big as a cinema screen, as flat as glass mounted across the wall in his living room. Whereas the burglar has a TV (from 1989) with only three channels.
The apartment owner’s Internet is superfast, super highspeed (the burglar performs a broadband download speed test with all his jobs as a matter of course).
In another room weights and a treadmill, a collapsible table tennis table in the corner of another room of the apartment which has a pool table, a CD and DVD rack that reaches to the ceiling across an entire wall.
Various computer games (none of them pirated) and fancy game consoles.
A fancy bicycle standing unused in the passage (still with its plastic packaging on, unopened).
There is even the luxury of a water cooler in one corner of the apartment, on lease, as if this were also an office. The water is replenished by the supply company every third week – the burglar noticed this on the calendar in the kitchen.
And in the kitchen - a custom-made six hob branded stainless steel stove and oven! There’s matching stainless steel toaster and kettle and bread-bin, all the same custom-made expensive brand (rummaging about the burglar finds an envelope stuffed thick with money hidden in a plastic bank bag sandwiched in between slices of bread. Talk about a metaphor the burglar reflected, there must be three or four times what he might ever need. He returns all of the cash to the bread bin. No, actually, that’s wrong, lets face it, there’s no chance of that ever happening and he pocketed the cash.
And such a well stocked fridge! Cheeses he’s never heard of, condiments that are unpronounceable, organic turkey and chicken meats, eggs the size of his fist, fresh, packaged salads, a whole fresh salmon, wonderful, exotic sounding fruit juices. NO PRESERVATIVES! they boast.
Beers, cold and chilled.
All that money and food and drink, why waste it. Condensation forms on a bottle of beer from the warmer air of the apartment as the burglar stares out the window with his black woollen balaclava over his face at the crazy, hazy view of the city below restlessly moving. All around things are going on. He waves anonymously at people opposite in an office block but no one returns the gesture. Very busy, computer screens are on, people are taking calls, printers are running off reams of paper, directors and managers are delegating to employees; a young woman a floor below notices him and shows him her finger before returning to her desk.
Off to another side in a smaller block he spies two women - clearly lesbian in nature - gesturing at one another, their arms flailing through the air, crazy gestures, as if wildly negotiating a plane landing. He can’t see their mouths or make out what they’re saying but it continues for a few minutes, this silent shouting. 
Finally one lesbian throws her handbag down on the floor angrily and clenches her fist and this seems to bring the quarrel to a close. The other lesbian stands with her hand on her hip coolly, a cigarette visible in the other, regarding her; composed, very sophisticated she flicks her cigarette dismissively.
Three or floor stories down an old man’s spying on the world, too. He sees the burglar, a fellow voyeur, and waves at him, a slow, retired, well-intentioned hello! and the burglar waves back with his beer.
Feeling reflective, another beer in hand he stands pondering the world some more, content and taking it all in so well insulated from the outside world he could leave and re-enter the earth’s atmosphere a number of times safely. He’s there for some time looking down at the street far below, the people, the cars, life - what a long way to fall he thinks and taps the bottle of beer against the window – tap… tap… tap…
What’s a few more feet? he thinks staring with his front row view of the world spread out in front of him living and breathing pulling apart at its seams, at war.
Behind him, down the hallway, a key turned in the front door of the apartment but the burglar didn't hear them...