Sunday, September 12, 2010
We woke up at 6:30 this morning to head over to the Brooklyn Book Festival, where Mark was to read with Tracy K. Smith and Terrance Hayes at ten. We'd been up for a half hour (I'd already taken my shower) when Mark couldn't find his laptop. I looked for my laptop, and--didn't I leave it out on the coffee table last night? Mark's laptop gone, my laptop gone. And all at once the story plays out: kitchen window open, dirty shoe print on the windowsill, and the battered fire escape, formerly useless device marring the front of the building, suddenly seems sinister. And within a half hour five police officers are crowding our one-bedroom apartment, fingerprinting us (a messier, more extended procedure than you'd think), dusting the window frame and refrigerator for fingerprints. The cops were all very kind and funny, and their hour-and-a-half in the apartment was not without its comic moments: Ned nipping at one of the officers trousers, Ned carrying off the fingerprinting brush, chewing it, mauling it. But I haven't been able to shake off the words of one of the detectives, whose voice took on a more serious tone just as he was getting ready to leave --it was very lucky you all slept through it, because it would have been a different situation if one of you had woken up. And I wasn't thinking then about my lost music library, which I'd never bothered to back up, or the photos and letters, or any of the drafts I hadn't backed up this summer, and thought of a stranger creeping within two feet of the bedroom, while the three of us--Mark on the left side, me on the right, Ned in the middle--slept peaceably, as if danger were very far.