you. make this go away, please.

I told the story only as many times today as I had to. Rachel, Ari, Wes, the folks at work who wanted to know why I was late.

“Someone tried to break in last night. Through my skylight.”

If I didn’t talk about it, perhaps I could avoid indulging in the feelings of insecurity that it left me with. Perhaps not.

Forget all the shitty jokes that seem to fly naturally because I once dated a cop, but when the boys in blue showed up, I wanted to hold onto them. You. Make this go away, please. The same way I routinely hand over my stapler and beg Justine to fix it. Sometimes, I just can’t deal. Please? Instead, I brushed glass from the cat’s fur and offered the officers water or tea and phoned in late to work.

In the end, the whole ordeal was afforded less drama than my quirky stapler.

“What happened at your apartment?” Stewart asked me as I dug a questionably old container of yogurt from the fridge in the office pantry. I shrugged and sighed.

“Someone tried to break in last night. Through my skylight.”

“That must feel awfully violating.”

Yes. It does.

When some drunken kids shot the windows out of our house in Boston, glass poured in onto the floors, waking me from a dead sleep. I made tea that time too. Corey, roommate and man of the house, cleaned up glass and called police while I sat, ashen at the kitchen table.

“Go back to sleep, Shorty. I got it.”

I made a pot of coffee and crawled into Corey’s bed and dozed to the sound of low voices on the front porch. You. Make this go away, please. Only, I didn’t have to ask him. Just like sometimes, I simply perch that damn stapler on the cubicle wall, and it comes back stapling again with a roll of the eyes and an I got it, babe.

It’s not always the magnitude of the problem, I’ve learned. There’s just a certain point where enough is enough and I give up. Thankfully, this morning, I did not reach that point. Instead, I brushed glass from the cat’s fur and decided it was best not to chance it with the stapler at all.

I used a lot of paperclips.

34 comments to you. make this go away, please.

  • Minh

    Sorry to hear about the break in. Manhatten is getting dangerous, move to Brooklyn. Just a suggestion.

  • Okay, here’s the thing: I’m sorry someone tried to break into your place. The world could be a paradise if everyone wanted it to be.

    Hmmm… I wonder if that’s true. Hmmm…

    Here’s the other thing: It’s good to have people to go to when you need something. It’s also good to do it on your own. Hmmm…

    Okay, here’s the real thing: Hello, again. I hope you forget your anxiety soon feel peace again.

  • Hugs… big hugs…. and another box of paperclips. And a handful of rubberbands for good measure.

  • ditto the above offerings of hugs and paperclips. i’m sorry to hear that this happened to you, i’d be quite scared. (okay so i never claimed to be good at condolences)

  • That does sound scary. Sounds like a situation where you need ben & Jerry’s too :-) Hope you feel safe at home soon again!

  • deb

    Fish gave me nightmares! No, but really – this is incredibly shitty and I am so sorry it happened to you. I obviously don’t have half your strength as we have two skylights and Alex is out of town and after reading this, I barely slept a wink last night.

  • I didn’t sleep either, Deb. If, you know, solidarity is of any comfort.

  • This happened once to me and my husband in suburban Virginia. It turned out to be a bunch of bored kids breaking into homes just to look around and steal piddly stuff. But the broken window and the air of “someone’s been messing here” was just … wrong. And unsettling. And a bit scary.

    I’m adding to the hugs and paper clips! Sleep soundly tonight!

  • I am sorry to hear about your potential break in. I am glad you and kitty are alright too.

    What is this world coming to? *sigh*

  • I was thinking further about this post (yes, my life is uneventful) and I began to wonder: What do you do to your stapler? Jesus tapdancing Christ, I’ve had a stapler for ten years and never had any trouble with it. Maybe you should try an electric stapler.

    Just a suggestion. Good morning.

  • My apartment was broken into a few weeks ago, also. It made me really, really, sad. That’s the best way I can describe it. I’m sorry to hear that you are going through the same thing. Best wishes…

  • Manhattan does seem to be going through some sort of downslide. I fainted on the train on my way into work the other morning. No one bothered to help me, left me on the train and walked around me to get out at Grand Central. A cop of the platform happened to see me lying infront of the doors. And while I was out, someone stole my purse. It’s just so hard to get over that feeling of violation and invasion into your life, and while it’s hard to just pick up and keep moving on with life, you just have to do it.

  • The fear of something exactly like that has fuelled years of night terrors for me.

    So sorry, Fish. I hope you’ll be able to sleep soon.

  • Hon, I’m so sorry. I’m really glad you and the cat are ok. Tea is a good restorative. Well, it’s nice to hold a cup of something hot, anyway.

    And Christina – that is so fucked up. I’m sorry there was no one decent (besides the cop) to help you.

  • Fish and Cristina — that sucks. Sorry it happened to you. Glad you are both okay.

  • G

    I can’t believe Hal didn’t get all Ninja Kitty and savagely attack the intruder.

    You could have called your Upper East homies if you’d wanted.

  • rg

    sorry to hear about the incident. very glad to hear both you and the kitty are ok. very scary. sneding more paperclips your way so you don’t have to deal with the stapler for a while.

  • I’m so sorry that happened to you. It’s such a creepy feeling when you discovered that what you perceived as a boundary was in fact not an obstacle at all. I think it’s upsetting not only on a personal level but because our perception of the law of physics is messed with. Like, there’s a wall there. (Or in this case, a ceiling.) But it can still be a door? Even if I closed it?

    There’s something wrong with that, just on an organic level– ethical issues aside. Things should be solid (obstacles to unauthorized entry) or space (portals to your domain).

    So I’m really sorry that happened.

    Does kitty tolerate dogs at all?

  • That sucks. Just know that us Upper Easters still love you and want you to stay.

  • My apartment had been broken into when I first moved to NYC. I had only been here maybe 3 months and it was THE most frightening thing – a true violation. When you live alone, you already feel vulnerable – an incident like this only heightens that. And just recently, two kids threw a beer bottle threw my 5th floor bedroom window from the roof of the building across. I was home when it happened and practically hit the deck thinking I was under attack. The city is becoming a scarier place again, I think. Might have to start carrying mace in my pocket again and that’s a sad statement.

    Hope you are on the mend – plenty of good exists in this world and in this city. Don’t let it get you too down.

  • Awww, somebody called you “Shorty”. I thought that only happened in rap songs.

  • Sending you hot tea and fleece blankets mojo.

  • I’m sorry Fish. I’m glad you’re safe.

  • wow, sorry for your ordeal. scary. good for you for being strong about it.

  • How about I come over and beat the piss out of that breaker-inner with a stapler?

    I’ll use your always broken one.


  • nicole

    I understand exactly how you feel…I had an apartment broken into once, long ago. And then more recently my ex-boyfriend tried to break into my apartment while I was there, two weeks after I kicked him out…I still need my tv to fall asleep. It’s amazing how it gets to you.

  • So sorry to hear about such an unfortunate thing. Feeling so violated is hard to shake off. I wish you a return to what used to be normalcy as soon as possible.

  • nyc007

    A friend of mine asked me to check this post out. As a security consultant, I can tell you that the police are purely reactionary. How did this person get on the roof? Maybe you could add an “early warning system” and give yourself a few valuable minutes to get out of there. Let me know if I can help.

  • AlaskaFish

    Just found your blog – the fish title sucked me in – Check out the Ray Troll (Alaskan artist) T-shirt “woman needs a man” at – you might like it. Apparently I found you on a bad day. 007 is right – thankfully you weren’t hurt, and it gives you an opportunity to improve your security situation.

    The bright side is, it could have been worse, and those who say moving out of the city is the answer are not altogether correct – case in point – Juneau Empire, August 9. A woman came out of her bedroom 9:30 at night to discover a black bear sitting in the middle of her kitchen floor, eating the remains of a rib dinner out of the garbage. The bear growls, she retreats quickly to the bedroom (not a good idea to bother a bear when he’s licking BBQ sauce – or anything else, for that matter) wakes her husband, who has to lean on the bedroom door to keep the bear from coming in – they call the cops, who arrive just in time to see the bear (now trapped inside their house) stand up and put his paws on the living room picture window, bust his way through, and run away. Doesn’t matter what coast you are on, a little security can go a long way to keeping all manner of ‘wildlife’ at bay…….

  • S

    As someone said before, stay strong. chin up. i’m glad your kitty is okay.

  • Sorry to hear about the break in, but I’m glad to hear that you’re ok, that nothing was stolen, and that you’re coping well. Take care.

  • harjy

    was your post..had to comment..firstly: i think the person who tried that is a complete idiot..wouldn’t it be easier to just find a JOB rather than break through people’s skylights, scare them to wit’s end, AND make a mess? idiot. i hope his mother hits him upside the head with a frying pan and knocks some sense into him.

    with all that said, i’m glad you’re safe..try and keep your chin up :)

  • Hp

    Hmmm Early Warning System….I wonder if they meant ‘land mines’.

    Insert stupid joke about sharing bed to make you feel safe…

    Insert second joke about AK47 for christmas….

    Stop making stupid jokes and pour Gin and Tonic.