I could hear him approach as I sat at the computer by my front window. He was talking to himself while pushing an overloaded shopping cart down the street. I watched as he let his carriage roll on ahead of him for a quick grab-n-go maneuver. As he jauntily hopped up my neighbor’s steps, he ever-so-nonchalantly grabbed from the top landing an umbrella which had been resting in the corner for convenience. He then proceeded to hop right back down the steps and regain control of his mighty-steed-on-wheels before it crashed into a parked car out front…all this was performed in one fell swoop; what a pro.
“That’s not yours!”
From across the street I see his shiny, bald head look up at the sound of my voice, but then continue on with his thievery…
“That’s not yours!”
I spoke out my window a second time, intentionally louder. My heart was racing as I realized words were exiting my mouth! It wasn’t in a “HEY YOU” kind of voice, mind you, but in more of a matter-of-fact, I-see-what-you’re-doing kind of tone.
“Stop it, Mindy! What are you doing? You don’t know what this guy might do!”
Those were my thoughts as I stupidly addressed him from my secret, foliage obscured perch. Shaking hands soon accompanied my racing heart as the adrenaline my body so generously loves to release into my bloodstream every time I’m about to engage in ANY sort of confrontation, coursed through my veins. Wisdom told me to keep silent for safety’s sake, but that option felt wrong. I just couldn’t stand by and watch him steal from my neighbors. I couldn’t watch him take something that wasn’t his! It may seem like a petty little thing, but wrong is wrong and right is right.
Now on my side of the street and directly in front of my house, he senses the direction whence came the girly voice of judgement…
“Well, you know…no it’s not…but it is now,”
he replied with a chuckle as he added my neighbor’s blue and white umbrella to his already full carriage of crap…also stolen from the shopping mart just down the street.
I’ve seen this homeless guy before. I had to call the police a couple months ago because of him. He was hanging out on the sidewalk just between me and my neighbor to the left. I watched as he talked to himself with seriously odd, erratic behavior…I watched as he tried to talk to a poor girl just trying to walk her dog…I watched as he engaged in deep conversation WITH HIMSELF as he paced up and down, NOW in my neighbor’s driveway…And I watched as he looked through a partially opened window of one of the apartments towards the back of the building. It was the home of a single mom (as far as I know, I’ve only spoken with her once).
Rick yelled at me to get away from the window because he feared the obviously drug induced gentleman might see me. I truly felt anxious and concerned so I desperately needed to watch, but I chose to appease my husband’s demands if only for a moment. When I returned to my pantry window a few minutes later to check on the situation, the light was turned on and this guy was now INSIDE my neighbor’s apartment, standing right in front of the very window he had been peering through moments before!! I didn’t see him do it, but I’m convinced he climbed through this open window. But, DAMN IT, I could’t prove it now! You can imagine how many times I kicked myself for ever walking away.
As I continued my surveillance, I could see him acting all kinds of crazy as though he was performing some weird science experiment. I don’t know how else to describe it. He was also repeatedly stepping up and down onto something he had on the floor.
So, of course, I called the police. I had to! What if my neighbor returned home with her child while this strange guy was still inside?!!? I would hope my neighbors would do the same for me! So I call and they ask my name. I was reluctant to give it at first because I didn’t want everyone to know it was me that called it in. The dispatcher assured me that it would stay confidential; they just want it for their records. So what did the two police officers do when they finally arrived? Yup. Walked straight to my front door! Seriously?!?!
Anyway, they finally made their way next door after I repeated myself by telling them everything I had already explained over the phone. I told them that he was still inside, DIRECTLY in front of the window. CAN’T. MISS. HIM. After they had a chit-chat with the guy, we see the two officers escort him back down the driveway towards the street. I could hear the cop asking the guy where he got the cart and he simply stated back to the officer the name of the food market. No big deal. Pretty soon he was back at it, pushing his stolen treasures down the street; off into the sunset. Did the police ever contact my neighbor? Did she know the guy and say it was OK!? I gotta say, I seriously doubt this man was friends with the tenant; he CLEARLY did not belong there! I found this whole event rather strange.
BUT I DIGRESS…
Back to yesterday’s events…
SO, after my initial scolding was followed by Baldy’s response of zero repentance, he continued to push his cart past my house with HIS new blue and white umbrella.
“Jesus sees everything,”
I responded, to which he replied with some illogical, ranty justification for taking said umbrella. (By the way, I’m super glad I have a picket fence bordering between my fifteen feet or so of overgrowth and the sidewalk, because for a second there I thought he was gonna try and get closer.) Now out of sight, I could hear him yelling, “Your welcome, by the way!” (for apparently giving me my freedom) and “Happy Fourth.”
“Jesus gave me my freedom!” I hollered back to my neighbor’s six foot fence. OK, okay… so my indignation may have been intensified by his pompous, self-righteous attitude. Part of me considered running down the street, catching up to this guy and taking back the stupid umbrella…but yeah, that would have been REALLY dumb.
So, how crazy is he really? I mean, obviously, the drugs have led to his unpredictable behavior. BUT, he knew what he was doing was wrong and he even acknowledged that Jesus does indeed see everything. I hope the mere mention of the Lord’s name sows something deep within this man’s spirit. It does say that God’s Word never comes back void. There has to be power in just the mere mention of His name…I would think! I have prayed for this man in the past and I prayed again for him yesterday, despite my personal feelings of injustice by his hands. I don’t know his story of how he got to be where he’s at, but God knows and I pray the Lord’s will be done in his life.
If I happen to spot him around town will I be scanning the cart for a blue and white umbrella? Yup…but I won’t do anything…I promise.