The Past Is My Shadow, My Shadow Is You: Home Invasion

Last Friday night an unknown person kicked down the door to my apartment, rifled through my possessions, and stole some of them.

(The possessions that were rifled-through included my media, and the two items that were most obviously displaced were my Beatles '65 record and Walk Under Ladders by Joan Armatrading. So, this unknown burglar had obviously no taste or discernment.

I could maybe even respect a burglar who stole Beatles '65.)

Evidently, this experience has been traumatic. I live alone, and I am introverted, and my apartment is very much an extension of my self. It is my kingdom and I am its modern monarch, a politically inert yet benevolent steward. (This attitude makes changing lightbulbs and wiping down counters less a chore than an outgrowth of noblesse oblige.)

I feel a lot of things about this development. Angry is chief among them. Also sad, also stressed, also a little kicking-myself.

But I am a creature of habit, and habit is hard to disrupt. Once I've made a commitment to something I'm very unlikely to dislodge it. (If you believe in horoscopes, I'm a Capricorn, the symbol of which is a goat. I always used to hate this as a child, who wouldn't rather be a CENTAUR or a FISH than a goat, but I've stopped fighting and learned to accept my goat-y nature. Baaaa.)

A kingdom is a kingdom, even if the door can be kicked in. The borders should be made of stronger stuff than that.


Even under the best of circumstances I'm a bit of an abuser of the repeat-one-song function, but under stress I find it extremely comforting to listen to the same song over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

The past few days it's been this one.

The song: Dusty Springfield, "What Do You Do When Love Dies"; recorded 1968, released 1971

It was on my iPod already, which is important because one of the casualties of the burglary was my laptop and music library. (But don't worry, I should be able to recover most of it.)

I love its mixture of snazzy, upbeat, going-about-your-day sort of things (waking up, making coffee, running for the bus), with the yearning of the question posed in the chorus. That particular question is not my question at the moment, but I can get past that. The song is about disruption in your life, and how it feels to go from one thing to the other.

(If you want to know how awesome Dusty Springfield is, or if you want to know it again, check out the original version of this song. It's 100% toothless. Needed Dusty to bring it to life.

You can also check out the other Dusty Springfield songs featured here: "What Have I Done To Deserve This"; "Make It With You".)

I said the question in the song is not my question, which is true. "What do you do when you come home to find your door hanging off its hinges?" doesn't scan. But what DO you do?

What do you do?