I had recently moved back to Chicago and rented an apartment in high rise building where I had just brought the last of my things over.
I had called a few old friends who invited me to a dinner birthday party for a woman we had all grown up with in West Rogers Park.
Just as I walked out of the building, I remembered that I left my Moleskine notebook and fountain pen upstairs so I went back to collect them.
When I opened the top double lock, I noticed it was already unlocked. 100% certain I had double locked the door I became nervous with the thought the apartment might have been broken into.
I opened the door to discover my worst thoughts had come to pass, the apartment was indeed broken into and had been thoroughly ransacked.
I immediately looked at my desk and saw that my computer had been stolen and I sat on my bed completely distraught and overwhelmed.
I walked over to my desk and saw that my backup hard drive was there and felt some relief.
Just then, a man I recognized as one of the building’s maintenance crew walked in wearing a light blue hoodie and not the dark blue uniform I was accustomed to seeing him in.
He asked if everything was okay despite looking around and seeing my apartment in a shambles.
I told him the flat had been burglarized and he seemed indifferent saying that it does happen from time to time.
Certain that the man had something to do with the break in as the door was definitely compromised by someone who had a key, I thought to myself that the perpetrator always returns to the scene of the crime.
Thinking that the man wasn't too clever, I tried to get him to confess to the crime by asking him if anyone was with him when he came into my apartment.
He gave me a confused look and walked away.
As I was rummaging through my things, I found my Moleskine notebook and fountain pen and took the elevator to the second floor and walked down to the ground floor and out the door.
Walking down the street, I ran into one of my friends who was also heading to the restaurant.
I told him what had happened and he suggested skipping dinner and going directly to the police station to report the break in.
I told him I could just as easily do it after dinner and proceeded to climb onto an ornamental brick gate post outside of a posh Gold Coast mansion.
I sat up on the post and began writing a list in my notebook of all the things I had in my apartment.
My friend soon told me he thought we’d better get going as it was getting late and the others would surely have arrived at the restaurant.
As I climbed down the wrought iron bars which protruded from the brick post like tiny stairs, I told my friend how much hated climbing down from high places, that I was much more agile and confident climbing up.
Just as I reached the ground, I saw my friend old childhood friend Teresa approaching and gave her a hug.
Remembering that she lived in another state, I asked her how long the drive to Chicago was and she told me she had taken the train as it was just as fast as driving and cheaper seeing how she wouldn’t have to pay for gas or parking.
She mentioned that where she lived was like coming into Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley.
We arrived at the restaurant and our friend’s birthday dinner party was already underway.
The hostess, a tall woman who I had known from my years living in Valencia, came over to greet me and sat on my lap obviously enhebriated.
She told me I could walk over to the refrigerated showcase and select whatever I wanted for dinner.
I walked over to the showcase and noticed there were only salads and cold fish starters so I removed a small salad and found a place at a table where some empty chairs were.
Just then a woman made an announcement on the microphone and one by one dinner guests would come up to the mic to make toasts and say a few words about the guest of honor.
When the toasts were finished, we all sat around a table listening to the woman telling stories and humorous anecdotes.
At one point, she starting telling a joke about the Holocaust that I thought was in very poor taste, especially seeing how the woman was Jewish and had many Holocaust survivors in her family.
Then I woke up.