I had had a long day. It wasn’t a bad day, but a long day. I stayed late at the office to attend a meeting and was speaking with a coworker just outside the door of my building when someone walked past me and said, “Hey, you have a flat tire.” All I could think was, “Crap, just what I need!” It was 100 degrees outside, I was tired, and I just wanted to go home.
“Your tire isn’t just flat; it’s slashed.”
I called my son and asked him to come and help me put my spare on. Yeah, I could have called a tow truck, but I just didn’t want to wait or deal with all of that. As my son was changing my tire, he says, “Mom, your tire isn’t just flat; it’s slashed.” WHAT!!! He shows me 3 distinct stab marks on the sidewall of my tire.
An immediate calm came over me. I don’t know why. I was actually a bit shocked at my own reaction. I am usually very upset by people not respecting other’s property. I work hard for what I have and it’s not fair that someone can just decide to damage it. But, that wasn’t my reaction this time. I literally shrugged it off and once my son finished changing my tire, I drove home and didn’t think about it anymore that night.
The next morning at work, I found out that I was one of five people that had their tires slashed the night before. Each of us where parked in a different section of the parking lot. We all had common, but different makes and models of cars, and all different colors. We all worked in various departments of the company and from all different backgrounds.
Random Act of Unkindness
There are security cameras in our parking lot, so the footage was reviewed with those of us affected by this act. It became obvious as we watched the footage that this was a random act by someone that was not of sound mind.
You can clearly see the person come into view, from around the corner, walking very slowly and talking out loud as he proceeds through the parking lot. He has a knife in his right hand. Without any notice, he turns to a car, bends down and puts the knife through the tire. Then he casually stands up and begins walking again through the parking lot. This time he stops behind my car for a second or so. He then walks toward the front of my car, bends down, and slashes my front driver tire. He continues this way through to the other side of the parking lot and then just continues on down the street.
Reactions Can Be Revealing
There are very strong reactions from others watching the security footage. One person says, “I can’t believe someone would do this in the middle of the day.” Another says, “How could someone do something like this?” And yet another says, “I hope they catch the guy!” I think, “Yes, I do too, but probably not for the same reason as you.”
You see, all I can feel is sadness for this man. What was he thinking as he walks through the parking lot committing this act? How did he decide this was the “right” parking lot? Or did he actually decide any of it? Or was this act as random in his mind, as it was to us? If they catch him, I hope someone will give him the help he needs. I am not angry at this man. I am saddened that he is burdened with living his life with an uncontrolled mental illness.
The Safety of Family and Home
Does this man have a place to call home? I wonder. Will he be safe when the sun goes down? After work today, I will take my car to the tire shop and purchase a new tire. Then, I will go home to my family where I will be safe and warm. Where will this man be? And what will he be doing?