Life Adventures

The Smashed Window

When you are a diamond merchant everyone thinks you walk around with bags of priceless gems. Of course that’s not true, but gem dealers and bankers are always the ones targeted by robbers. That’s why we carry silent hold-up alarms and look both ways before we cross the street. If we return to our parked car we check our tires to make sure they are inflated and glance over our shoulders to make sure no one has followed us.

In my thirties I began a program that would end up giving thousands of gems to kids. I would later discover that one could never go bankrupt from giving too much. In 2001, I gave boxes of fine jewelry to two gentleman dressed in black who barged into our store during the holiday season. It is hard to say no when guns are pointed at one’s chest. Thanks to insurance, our small boutique was saved.

Last night I returned to my old car and saw a pile of broken glass by my rear passenger door. I thought there must have been a crash right beside my vehicle. Then I realized the glass was from my own car! The tires were fine. Nothing was stolen. Through the gaping hole I saw my defunct computer in the seat. I was planning to dispose of it the next day. The back seat was filled with tempered glass that had exploded from the impact of the vandal’s hammer. Perhaps the vandal discovered my clunky old Macintosh was too heavy to carry.

A CD of the Beatles greatest hits was half buried in the graveyard of broken glass. Maybe the vandal didn’t like English rock bands. My registration, title, and garage door opener rested tidy in the junk compartment. There was no sense in calling the police. I didn’t have coverage for vandalism. It was probably my fault for teasing a robber with an antique Apple computer that might be worth millions.

I scanned to make sure no one was watching and slowly drove out of the parking lot. Residue of glass shards trickled down the side of the car every time I ran over a small bump. The 55 freeway pounded me with chilly Southern California air. I always wanted a convertible.

I arrived home, took a shower, went to sleep and had wonderful dreams. I woke refreshed and dressed in a black suit and purple tie. My wife reminded me I needed to replace my car window. The amazing thing is between the hours when I arrived home until the morning I never once thought of the broken window! It was simply a glitch in the matrix of life. There was no problem, but a learning experience. Maybe the lesson was simply not to put old computers in one’s back seat.

I hope the vandal learned that one should not smash other peoples’ windows. If I knew he really wanted that old computer I certainly would have given it to him. I’m sure the universe had good intentions for both the smasher and myself.

For me, the jewelry business has been both exhilarating and wonderfully terrifying- just as life should be.

Any danger I have ever encountered has been dwarfed from the wisdom and joy I have received. My adoptive mother instructed me to be the best of whatever I chose to be. I still hear her kind words in my ears.

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