I am a writer. I use my words. I try real hard to use my words for good. On April 28 I lost some of my words. Some of those words that I lost comprised two book proposals and the carefully crafted query letters ready to go out this week. I know it is a long shot since hundreds of MacBook Pros are stolen in Atlanta every day – I probably stand a better chance at winning the PowerBall – but maybe, just maybe I can still get my words back.
Late Saturday evening, after a day of distracted fun wandering around a perfect Inman Park Festival that celebrates a crazy, beautiful cacophonous, spectrum of people living in the city, I made a terrible mistake and left my laptop in my car. My car was parked in front of my house in Kirkwood, a little neighborhood in Atlanta. Someone looking in the car windows of our newly purchased vehicle, saw my brown, saddle-leather bag and used the screwdriver in his or her hand to smash the back-seat window. I had forgotten to set the alarm. The dogs barked, but they bark if a squirrel farts on the front porch so we barely stirred.
Whoever you are out there, you left behind my paper notebooks, strewn all along the bike path in the rain. I am grateful to have them back because those words, rough and sharp like un-tumbled stones, had not even made it as far as the keyboard. You left behind my copy of Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman – and I am grateful that I still have his words close at hand to make me slow down and think. You even left behind my latest bills for my massive student loans and the speeding ticket I got hurrying to the work I love last week. Thank you, it sure would’ve been a pain to deal with all that without the proper paperwork. Thanks to a neighbor named Adam I even got back the bag after he found it discarded in a park just a few blocks away.
What I can never get back are the precise words, in exactly the way I wrote them, that are stored on that computer since my other carelessness was failing to drop the words into the cloud. But I am throwing this plea out to the universe in the unlikely event that you ever encounter these words. If there is any way to just get those words back I hope you will reach out to me in whatever anonymous way you can. Hell, I will give you the password to get past the login screen. I really just want my words back.
Just typing all of this out makes me starkly aware of the bountiful blessings, the many privealges I enjoy – some of which I earned through very hard work, some of which I inherited with no effort on my part – I get that. Please know too that I worry terribly about the circumstances that may have put you on this path in life. I can only pray that the money you make from the laptop will fill a hungry belly, not an empty pipe.