Published on June 12th, 2019 | by Randy Weeks0
The View from the Balcony: Perspective
Saturday night, June 1, 2019, @ 8:00 p.m. I wasn’t feeling all that spry. Sinus infection. So I went home from The Balcony early. (Who am I kidding? 8:00 is late for me most nights.) When I woke Sunday morning I still didn’t feel well. I showered anyway but hung around home in my bathrobe. Didn’t even look outside. You know those days.
About 3:00 p.m. there was a knock on my door. I looked through the peep hole and what to my wondering eyes did I see but an officer from the OPD. So I cracked the door open. The officer asked, “Are you Mr. Weeks?” “Yes,” I replied. “We never know if the address for the license plate matches the current address or not,” she said, then continued. “Mr. Weeks, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you.”
Who in their right mind wants a police officer knocking on their door, telling you that they’ve got bad news for you? There was that unsettling pregnant moment of silence in which your entire criminal history flashes through your mind. My brain scanned of all the possibilities. Was there a death in my family? What had I done to be arrested? I didn’t see a warrant and she didn’t have her gun drawn, nor were the handcuffs out. “Tickets,” I thought. “No, I haven’t had any tickets. Major crimes? I don’t litter and I do recycle. I haven’t torn the tags off my mattress or furniture. I did have a Western-styled six-shooter and a sword in my car, but they’re both legal. No, I haven’t responded to all of the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes emails and they have become pretty threatening lately, but even this is beyond them – I hope.”
“Is that your white Altima parked over here?” she asked. “Yes, ma’am, it is,” I replied. (I was twice her age but I knew it was wise to call anyone wearing a badge “sir” or “ma’am.” You gotta get started on the right foot.) “Well,” she said, “Someone stole both wheels off the driver’s side of your car.” “What?” I said. “Yessir. Somebody took two wheels off your car.” “I think I’d better get dressed,” I said. “Yessir,” she replied. “That’d be a good idea.”
So, I got dressed and went down to see for myself. She was right. Someone had stolen both wheels from the driver’s side of my car. (Silver lining: At least the thief or thieves had put a block under my car to keep it from being directly on the ground.)
The officer told me that another Altima had the same thing done to it a few buildings away from mine on the same night. A third car was hit a few weeks prior. “We’ve got some leads,” the officer said. I commented, “I hope you catch whoever did this, but even if you do, I’m not gonna get my tires back.” She nodded in agreement.
(Everyone I’ve told this story to has said that I must have had some fancy rims on my car. Nope. Just the plain ole ones that came with it.)
I was fortunate enough to have insurance. I was unfortunate enough to have a $500.00 deductible. I was fortunate enough to have roadside service. I was unfortunate enough not to have car rental coverage.
Monday my car was towed to the repair shop. Of course, the wheels had to be ordered. It took until Thursday for the work to be completed and my car returned to me. Even with insurance it’s going to cost me around $800.00.
Now, here’s the truly important part of my tale…
After my insurance agent and I had handled all the business we could on Monday, he asked, “I don’t know if you’ve heard my news or not.” “No,” I said, “I haven’t heard a thing.” “Well,” he continued, “My cancer’s back and the doctors say I’ve got about a year to live.”
Suddenly it was clear to me that I wasn’t having all that bad of a day after all. Sometimes it’s all a matter of perspective.
…and that’s the View from The Balcony.