It’s not right.
No matter how you spin it. Stealing is stealing.
Friday my landlord and hired help — a 22-year-old due — are working in my yard tidying up, removing sticks, fire hazards, raking (part of the inspection process for mobile home parks I reckon).
I collect gemstones.
I had two large gemstones in the back yard by the tree in a space cleared for them in the dirt. I often go out to enjoy them and check on them. Make sure they haven’t been trampled by javelina or taken by a neighbor. Which would be supremely unlikely given the yard’s place and privacy (i.e., zero foot traffic).
Today I discover that the stones are missing. They went missing after the cleanup.
Instantly I am nauseous and feel an urge to vomit. The natural response to violation. Anyone who’s had his/her home space robbed or violated by intruders knows the response.
I search every square inch of my yard. It’s a tiny dirt lot with a smattering of trees so easily done.
Just then my neighbor Mark drives up. Ours is a friendly chatty neighborly interaction.
I tell him about the missing gemstones. I describe them in detail. Say they have a story.
He’s upset too. “That’s not right. That is not cool.” He searches all around my yard and his, which had also been tidied-up Friday. We cover all ground. Front sides and backs of our mobile homes.
It is gone.
Then a significant key emerges.
“That pile of stones by my shed,” Mark says. “That’s new. I didn’t put that there.”
Some 20 smallish stones, collected from both our yards, neatly stacked by the shed during the clean-up.
We handpick though them all.
“This one’s nice. Doesn’t look like the others.” In his raised hand is my quartz cluster.
Truth emerges clear as crystal.
To an non-gemstones person, the quartz cluster could be mistaken for the garden-variety Arizona desert stone.
The other gemstone: not. Not at all.
It’s a salmon-orange calcite. Polished (all edges rounded). It’s big (about 6″ by 6″) ad somewhat heavy.
In a store, it’d sell for $50-60.
The beautiful specimen could not be mistaken for Arizona rock.
One of two took it. My landlord. Or her hired helper.
My gut knows who.
It’s not Mark. We chatted. I don’t see a 22-year-old dude with long hair and a baseball cap being into gemstones. (Drugs, cars, chicks and rock-n-roll, maybe!)
Even if he paused because of its uniqueness on a plot of dirt, I do not see him taking it from someone’s yard.
My landlord: absolutely. No question. She is the type who’d admire it and take it home.
Who’s the white trash now, Landlord?
Hint: It ain’t the former white-trash residents in the mobile home park you manage.
I am livid. Laid-back neighbor Mark was too. “Man, you gotta call her. I’m sorry this happened. That’s not cool.”
My next step: Getting my stone back. An email that’s concise, businesslike and leaves no stone unturned, no pun intended.
Moving forward, any personnel on my property is instructed to take nothing (excepting the obvious such as twigs, leaves, branches from tree trimming).
This is personal property that was taken. There is no spin she can put on it. None. She may even lie about it. Claim it was the helper.
I know differently; I know better.
That this happened puts the landlord in a very bad light.
That this took place during other shitty behaviors from her concerning repairs of a swamp cooler two days ago — matters that may lead to small-claims court, time will tell — is exposing her.
I’m not the white trash, K. Probably neither some former tenants you’ve bitched about.
Look in the mirror.