Saturday, May 12, 2012


THE WORLD SEEMED TO stop for a while for me as I am shell-shocked and dazed from the knowledge that somebody had just entered into my house – surreptitiously - while I am in the middle of my sleep. It happened between 12:00 midnight to 2:00 AM of May 2, 2012 and it was raining hard. By habit, I should have awoken during downpours.

My wife woke me up from my slumber and, automatically, my attention shifted to the laptops. I found the Acer Extensa still on its place the last time I saw it used but I just lost my newer Acer Aspire laptop left on the glass center table of my living room. Both were covered with cloth yet the expensive one was the one found and spirited away from me.

The burglar gained entry by removing five jalousie glass blades from a window. Left behind were the Aspire’s battery and power supply and a pair of Logitech speakers. Placed beside the missing laptop but ignored, nevertheless, were my Guess wristwatch and a Columbia Scorpion King folding knife. Obviously, a child did the dirty job while an older companion could have stood outside waiting.

I saw my backpack on the tiled floor and saw some of its items strewn all over. I felt for the things which I knew were inside but discovered that I just lost my wallet containing my ID cards and an ATM card; and a Habagat neck pouch which contained my Sony Cybershot digital camera and about eight pieces of Camp Red special edition patches.

Retrieving my LED flashlight and knife, I searched quickly the backyard for any hidden suspect that might have been trapped but found none. I went running out of the house into the rain and followed the path to the street hoping that I may catch up with the thieves. M.J. Cuenco Avenue is almost empty save for a huddled group of three pairs of male and female teenagers waiting for the rain to stop.

I am almost naked save for a pair of shorts and I am barefooted. I can’t walk on the streets like this, even if I look like taking a bath in the rain. It’s weird at that hour with a knife. I went back to my house shaken by the swell of fiery emotions that have started to boil over. My wife met me at the door and she has with her an umbrella and she goes out to T. Padilla Street to do some investigating.

I search again the backyard carefully and found my wallet left unfolded on the ground with its items disgorged all around including my ID cards and my ATM card – all wet! Further search on my backpack assures me that my stash of hidden cash is still in its secret compartment although I lost a small amount of cash placed inside an unzipped pocket.

I tried the upper level of my house and the HP notebook is safe. My pair of Rivers hike shoes which I thought stolen is also upstairs. Gosh, what audacity for this unknown intruder to enter my lair. I could not shake off my anger and my unbelief that somebody had just did the impossible. And did it under the cover of rain. You know what, somebody had just torn off a page from my book and turned the tables on me. 

On some distant dark past when I was still in the Force, the rain used to cover up my movements and I operate effectively under it. I know very well that rain make people drowsy as warm air are pushed by supercooled air upon its approach. The monotony of raindrops on roof or on a puddle makes everyone comfortable and drop their guard. Even dogs drowse during rain, their excellent senses drowned out by that annoying rhythm and cool comfort. I know, because I used to tiptoe over them.

Then on some more distant darker past, I learned to stay awake when it rained. It was cruel and hard. Sleep is snatched away from you while everybody are enjoying their time on a warm bed on a very cold night. I grow up watching a stream during downpours for, when it rose, I have to plug the holes and, when it overflowed, I have to wait for the flood to abate and then start cleaning the muddy silt while it is still soft and watery.

Even the sight of bulging rain clouds in the distance is enough to send me scurrying for home to hold the fort against a liquid foe. It was like that for twenty years. That was when I lived in the old house.

But on that rainy night when someone entered my home, I rediscovered something amiss in my grown-up adult life: the feeling of abandoned bliss and comfort. The old feelings accompanied by sweaty anxieties and goose chills which usually follow when the subconscious mind switch on the brain to consciousness during the approach of rain were gone.

That feeling is surprisingly absent. Or it may have been eroded by living in a new house? Or I may be getting rusty and lost my old zing? Whatever. It is a shock to me and is so alien. I could not defend my home in that situation and, for that matter, allow any intruder to make mincemeat out of me. It was a good thought though that it wasn’t an assassin but just a petty thief.

I could do nothing about the stolen laptop and camera for now, so I texted my old underworld friends to take a look out of those items if ever it gets traded in their places. On the other hand, it is wise to have this incident recorded to the police authorities. I went personally to the Waterfront Police Station and pass a piece of paper to the investigator where all the info are typed so I could keep questions to a minimum.

The Acer Aspire is the center of entertainment for my boys. In it they could play online games, surf the ‘net, interact in Facebook, watch You Tube videos, download MP3, listening to music or saving pictures. The 4GB DDR3 memory, the 500GB hard disk space, the 15.6 high-definition LED LCD monitor, the Windows 7 platform and open-source browsers gave them the freedom to do as they please provided you use 110 volts of electricity else it explodes in your face.

The Sony DSC-220 camera is a different matter. It is used in the furtherance of my outdoor activities and my travels with which images captured are documented and blogged in Warrior Pilgrimage or uploaded in Facebook or Webshots. The camera had been dropped on streams twice but it still functioned after a few days drying. Basically, it could withstand rough handling.

Those were my toys and my joys. It pains me that it is not with me anymore and I just hope that my outlaw pals would send me a positive message in the days to come. If not, life moves on and wait for these things to drop from the sky along with the rain.

A new thought crossed over me. This concerns about the new feeling of comfort and bliss. To an ordinary mortal, this is most welcome. To a man who used to live life dangerously in the past, this is evil. I begin to sense the urgency of my present plight. I used to be comfortable at being uncomfortable or uncomfortable at being comfortable. How to recover the old sense back is the most difficult part.

Document done in LibreOffice 3.3


jvtan said...

At least no one in your family got physically hurt. Reinforce your windows with some decorative grills and post a sign "have gun will shoot". That will make those bastards think twice. :)

Bonedoc said...

Trailhawk Hope you're all alright> I can feel your angst and frustration regarding this event. Happened to me and my house also but I was just lucky I fell asleep at the sofa and the thieves were thwarted. After the incident, I wanted to get a gun and shoot at the would be robbers femur or leg even if they're all minors have I woke up the time they entered. Today i have guard dogs, my drill gun as a back up and an indian pana as another backup.

Anonymous said...

The nights that change our lives come when we relax and let our guard down... Many years ago, on a tropical night with heavy rain, an intruder removed jalousie panes to gain entry to my home and I had the terrifying/embarrassing experience of being awakened by a man sitting on my back, grabbing me by the hair, and holding a knife to my throat - my own well maintained, very sharp "Seal" knife - that had accompanied me on many adventures that had had the potential for danger, but the danger was there, at home, in a "safe" town, when I was resting and writing - too relaxed - foolish of me (the last time I slept comfortably and blissfully for many, many years - even today I am wary. I am a woman, and that night changed my reality forever...)

PinoyApache said...

You know, there used to be a protective grill on this window where the burglar entered but I removed that when I have to do a little reconstruction to my house. Thanks to our idiot city mayor who thinks he can have another term.

It was the only time I let the laptops placed on vulnerable areas. I was tired and soaked with local wine from a whole day of a beach outing with my office mates that I slept earl and failed to supervise my boys where to place the laptops afterward.

I don't keep guns in my house. I have grown up sons with me and we know how aggressive they are at age 16 to 21.

I returned the grill the following day. I refused to stock a gun. As usual, I hide my big blades. Nearby me is an ironwood stick and a LED flashlight that I could access in one move.