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Rob Santos


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To The Man Who Robbed My Home

You can take my flatscreen


Part 1 of 2
by Rob Santos

Finally, it was home. It was us. We made ourselves feel comfortable despite the circumstances. I thought no one could take away the feeling of home. Then again, things happen. That’s where you come in.

To The Man Who Robbed My Home | You can take my flatscreen

To the man who robbed my home,

You took something that doesn’t belong to you. Not just physical objects — you took the sanctity of a home, the innocence of a family who just wanted to feel comfortable and safe. I hope this letter gives you something to think about.

Let me tell you about the people you robbed. My daughter, Brooklyn, loves Transformers. She’s so into them. She doesn’t know the names of the characters, but she calls them “robots” and giggles constantly.

On a whim, I buy a copy of Transformers 4 on Blu-ray. She’s super excited! She is ecstatic to watch the movie on the big TV in the living room. She runs into the living room and starts making these cute demands of how she wants the space to be. “Daddy, make popcorn.” “Mommy, turn off the lights.” “Daddy, get my Spider-Man blanket, please.”

Let me tell you about the people you robbed.

Her exuberance permeates the room and makes her mother and I smile uncontrollably. I get her blanket and the popcorn and go to the living room where she’s made a space for her mother and I to sit. “Mommy sit here, Daddy sit here.”

I’m on one side of Brooklyn, with her mother on the other, and she’s nestled under the Spider-Man blanket. I know right then, that’s all I want in life. Watching this awesomely bad movie with my family means more to me than any professional success. The moment is so special. Ever since then we’ve made movie night a tradition.

As we watched the movie together, I thought about what it took for me to be in that moment. I thought about how much I loved having these nice things in my living space. For so many years, we lived in apartments that were really just glorified rooms. We never decorated. We never stayed anywhere long enough to put any thought into making the rooms feel like home. I felt like a fugitive, running from place to place. You couldn’t even tell if someone lived in some of those spots. In the tough areas of Hartford, Connecticut, all we thought about was survival. I thought to myself, Why decorate when we are just going to leave in a year anyway? Why add nice things to my place when someone might just might come in and take them?

Why decorate when we are just going to leave in a year anyway? Why add nice things to my place when someone might just might come in and take them?

Then something changed. That change was a 4-pound, 12-ounce little woman named Brooklyn. My masterpiece.

She had no idea what our life was like. Didn’t know that we lived in a bad place, didn’t know that we were lower class, didn’t care that all we had was each other. That’s when I realized that I was one of the richest men in the world because I had something special. Unconditional love.

When those movie nights came and she would take command and make sure we had everything in place, I knew that right there is where I needed to be. It’s because of her that we bought new furniture to sit on, a soft rug that would tickle our toes, portraits and paintings that would give our living room life, and of course, our 55-inch Samsung flatscreen HDTV. To go along with that television we bought an LG sound bar and a beautiful black TV stand. Finally, it was home. It was us. We made ourselves feel comfortable despite the circumstances. I thought no one could take away the feeling of home. Then again, things happen. That’s where you come in.

It’s because of her that we bought new furniture to sit on, a soft rug that would tickle our toes, portraits and paintings that would give our living room life, and of course our 55-inch Samsung flatscreen HDTV.

It was another long night for me in New York, full of hustle, performing at three venues in the same night. I had three very good sets. My jokes hit, and they hit hard. I felt good about my material that night. I couldn’t wait to get on the Metro North train to get back to Connecticut to be with my family. I was in such a good mood that I even gave a homeless guy a dollar that I’d found in the crease of one of my pants pockets. I rarely give money away like that, but I was in a really giving mood and nothing could bring me down.

Then the phone call. It was my girlfriend, Erica. I immediately knew something was wrong. After 14 years of being together, I know her voice and I know when she is furious.

In a loud voice she belted out, “Our TV is gone!”

“Our TV! It’s fucking gone! And they took the sound bar too!”

“What?!” I said.

“Our TV! It’s fucking gone! And they took the sound bar too!”

My first reaction was, sadly, that I knew that day would come. After the three years of living in Hartford, I knew that we would eventually get robbed because that’s how you guys are out here. You like to watch and wait and find the most opportune moment to come in and violate someone’s home and take what isn’t yours. It’s people like you who have always made me second-guess trusting anyone at all.

I wasn’t as pissed off as I should have been. Because I expected it. Because I had mentally prepared for my home to be violated. That’s sad. The fact that you robbing us wasn’t a surprise says a lot about the community we live in. We’re out here struggling just like you. Trying to get by.

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