Forty-eight hours later

I left for Simon and Adele’s wedding on Saturday morning, and had a quite extraordinary time. I’m not going to go into too many details, except to say that it was the first part-goth wedding I’d been to, and I met some really nice and interesting people. The most bizarre aspect of the whole day was probably that I sat next to a charming woman called Joh at the dinner and we got on really well. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised that she had a weblog – and moreover a weblog that linked to me! But she didn’t recognise me, it seems, because she refers to me in her post about the event as ‘Some-Bloke Tom’. It’s a small blogging world.

But of course in the back of my mind the whole time was my flat and the break-in. Would I notice that anything else had gone missing when I returned? How would I feel about the place generally – would I feel safe? Had the guy returned while I was out? Would he?

The most horrible part of the day was when I returned home. When I got back to London I seemed to find an almost infinite amount of ways to avoid coming back to my flat. And when I did I was shaking. I was surprised by the strength of my reaction. Over the weekend I’d sifted through all the things that the police had said to me – in particular that the burglar may have returned several times over the night. And when I got home I noticed that the dirty hand-prints that described the passage of the thief through my flat went right up to my open bedroom door. Not only did he know I was here, but he’d seen me sleeping. He’d been in my bedroom. And he still proceeded to quietly return to the sitting room and work his way through my personal belongings.

The fingerprint people are supposed to arrive sometime this morning, and I’ve had a phonecall from the police asking if I’d come in and look through some photographs. But it’s forty-eight hours since I last saw the guy. I don’t know if any identification I could make would be even vaguely accurate. I felt weird enough as it was driving around the streets, being directed to stare at every young black man we passed. I don’t know if I could live with myself if I made a false identification…

While I was at the wedding a friend of mine said that he has at the front of his address book the words, “Don’t phone home for sympathy”. He said that it was the role of parents to be angry at you for anything that happened. It would always be your fault. But I felt unsafe in my own flat by myself, so I needed to talk to someone. My mother’s first reaction was exactly what I expected. She said I was a twit for leaving the window even slightly open. But she calmed down after that, and after a long conversation, I think I actually felt slightly better about everything…