Last year, having just moved into a new house I returned home after a late night radio shift to discover that my home had been burgled. The bastards had smashed through a double glazed window - no easy feat the police and window fitters reassured me. From there they went through the entire house, messed it up a bit and stole a laptop, two guitars and a D&G watch. They also did a shit in my toilet without flushing it. Luckily though I had run out of toilet paper that morning though, so I like to think I had the last laugh there. Well, at least until several days later that is when I was looking for a clean T-shirt.
Being burgled is a truly atrocious thing that taints your home for a very long time afterwards. Unless you have been a victim yourself in the past there is simply no way of conveying the feeling. Arriving home late to a cold draft as you cross the threshold of your raped home. Scanning across the mess and silently cursing your scruffy housemates before catching a glimpse of glass and pulled out furniture. The sudden realisation that you have been robbed. The surge of adrenaline as you rush forward to survey the damage then the panic as you think, “Shit, they might still be in the house. Double shit, they might have seen my weird porn….” it’s a horrible situation.
The next day, because one of our windows was destroyed I had to get a real working man over to fix it. Something I was dreading. The reason being that I am not a real man. I am a boney, bearded, skinny jean wearing, guitar playing, former magician with a face too old for his girly voice. I know nothing about cars and my football knowledge is absolutely dire. I am a disappointment to real men everywhere, so the prospect of having to make conversation with a man that I could only ever aspire to be whilst he quietly judged me was not something I was looking forward to at all.
But then the time came and you know what, it went well. We talked about football, sports injuries, cars, at one point motorbikes and we were genuinely having a good time. I began to like John the workman and I think he liked me, Jordan the pretend man. Then the conversation took an interesting twist. We began to discuss other people we had known that had been burgled I mentioned friends, stories I’d overheard etc and John said this:
“I’ve got a friend that was burgled recently actually. He was a big lad, a body builder in fact. But you know what happened?”
“No, what happened,” I said in my deepest voice.
“He caught one of the bastards in the garage didn’t he! Do you know what he did?”
“No, what did he do?” I said, knowing full well something monumental was about to happen. Did this bodybuilding hero of a real man give the burglar what he deserved, did he fight him? Did he ring his mum? Did he ring the police? What? What did he do John? What?
“He shagged the bastard.” Said John with glee.
“Pardon?” At least that’s what I tried to say. It probably sounded more like, “pffgurrflgelk,” as I spat my coffee everywhere.
“He shagged him.” He repeated.
“Is he gay?” I asked.
“No he’s married with kids.”
“But he did shag him?”
“Yeah, never came back did he, taught him a lesson!”
“Yes. I guess he did.”
Now in my mind I’m thinking that burglary is a horrible crime, but on a scale of crime horrendousness, rape is…a lot worse. I think it would have probably been better if the, ‘bodybuilder’ friend had just killed him. Rape I think is probably worse than straight up murder. At least if he had killed him he could have just claimed he was so angry he just…killed him. You can’t really sit there and claim, “I was so pissed off I just well, I just undid my trousers and fucked him.” Doesn’t really have the same ring does it. Neither would he afterwards I guess. At this point I now realise that I should have made some sort of stand but in my pathetic mess of a situation of trying to be a real man I didn’t want John to know that I was shocked.
Instead I simply nodded and garbled something about it being a bit harsh, but essentially the only thing he could have really done. Then I slipped away back into my house, stopped making him cups of tea and locked myself in the bathroom. The new window ended up looking great though.