Four slashed tires and 24 hours of doubt

I awoke this morning to four flat tires. Four slashed tires. Cut with no motive, no reason. No malice intended, no perceived slights. Nothing to suggest that it was deserved.

Just four meaningless tires, rendered useless.

It bothers me. A lot.

It isn’t the damage that throws my mind in circles – we have insurance, and they’re just tires. It’s the action – the willful destruction. Both of the tires and of my time.

Was it something we did?

I spend a lot of time taking stock of how others perceive me, constantly readjusting my speech and actions in order to keep clear of my natural ability to be overbearing and pompous. At times, I find myself lapsing into an elitist, sarcastic monster, my ego rising above accepted norms and spilling around me, splashing vitriol onto those close to me, a weak side developed through years of defending my geekitude and fighting for acceptance.

It’s this monster that gets the best of me, that can make me an unsavory person to be around. It’s the Corey that grouses about perceived slights, that fights for completism, for an expert status that says “I’m the best.” It’s pure ego, and I often hate it.

So when seemingly random attacks – like the slashing of our tires – occur, they send my mind into overdrive. I think back at who I could have pissed off, apologizing to myself and to my past. When I can’t think of anything, everything goes haywire. Who am I forgetting? Why did this happen?

I search for meaning in actions that have no meaning.

And with all of this in mind, it makes me even more perplexed to the idea that it was done by random – that the destruction of personal property and the stealing of precious time and, in some cases, personal dignity is justified by a wonton recklessness – that smashing that pumpkin, that kicking over that plant, that causing any kind of grief is really worth the heavy conscience or the danger of being caught.

It’s that – the thrill of destruction and pain – that I’ll never get.

I’ve been asked, jokingly, whether I had any enemies who could have done this.

What makes me more frustrated is that, in the case of enemies, I’d be accepting it. I’d be angry. But I wouldn’t be hurt. I’d know that I probably deserved it – could pin point a culprit and assign blame.

But this is frustrating. It’s random. It’s not meant as a question of my character, or of my hidden demons. It’s thoughtless and meaningless. And that’s what gnaws at me.

That it could have been anyone, and instead it was us.

This was lovingly handwritten on December 23rd, 2008