Egypt – with all the trials and tribulations that 8 years of life there offered – couldn´t prepare me for the madness that rules our world. It certainly couldn´t prepare me for the evening when I got home, in London, and met – face to face, eyes into eyes – a burglar who had entered, without breaking, into my flat.
I felt something was off the moment I opened the flat´s door. Nothing was broken or moved from its original place but, somehow, my survival radar beeped and turned red.
-Something´s wrong. – I said to the emptiness of the flat.
Next thing I know, I´m looking at my bed in dismay: sheets revolved, pillows undergoing a revolution, cloths on the floor.
I knew it. He knew it, hiding in the guest room, a thousand times more terrified than I could ever be.
I checked my computer – it was where I left it. My work material – dance shoes and cloths, cds, make-up – was intact. The stuff that mattered to me hadn´t been taken so I relaxed. Sort of. There had been – or still was – someone in my home, invading what I considered my private space.
As I left the bedroom, a young man – of about 17-18 years old – crossed paths with me. For a moment, our eyes locked. None of us knew what to do. He looked like a scared tiger caught by the haunter with a gazelle in its mouth. I just looked surprised. I´ve known danger and terror in my life and there was none of it in that flat, despite appearances.
The man ran, faster than a thunderbolt, and disappeared in a wink. Like a ghost: he was there; then he wasn´t. I remained still, open mouth and arms, with the following words singing in my head:
– It´s almost 5 o´clock and we´re in London. Why didn´t he stay for tea?
The police came and investigated – there were no signs of breaking (how did he get in?). After a thorough investigation, we discovered he had stolen my Tarot deck and a Jo Malone bottle of perfume, English Pear and Freesia scent.
-We got us an esoteric burglar with good taste in perfumes! – The police woman joked.
Aside from joking, she told me London was a city of extravagant street burglars.
-They often steal a bed or a warm corner for a couple of hours while people are out and about. They don´t actually take stuff with them – they take moments and feelings. They need a warm place where they can feel safe and human again.
-You´re telling me there are burglars who don´t steal objects when they break into places?
-Exactly. A good part of them doesn´t. They study people´s schedules in order to know when they leave and return. Then they take advantage of a fireplace, a bed or a sofa while they´re out.
I didn´t need to know that in order to have my heart broken – the moment I locked eyes with the burglar had done the trick. I just sank a little deeper.
In a machine-oriented world like ours, where people are turned into numbers and emotions are nuisances we must learn to overcome through the power of the mind, I often ask if we´re losing our HUMANITY.
Where is the fuel that makes us who we are? Are we destructing our hearts and the space to touch, listen and accept the other, especially when the other thinks, feels and acts in ways we cannot understand? As far as I can see, that´s what defines Humanity and what defines Humanity is love – unconditional love.
The years I´ve lived and worked in Egypt, as an Oriental Dancer (the worst profession for a woman in the Middle East), I thought I´d seen every shade of grey in the Madness Kingdom. “La La Land” had tested me in ways I didn´t think would be possible to surpass. Then came that burglar; then comes Life.
We never stop learning. The Other, the one we don´t understand, is always around us. Sometimes in flashy garments – in the shape of a burglar, a particular religion, political view, nationality or eccentric behaviour- , more often than not in the shape of what we call normality. Mum,dad, our best friend, our neighbour.
What unites us? What are we searching for beneath the masks and the unconscious marathons that lead to nowhere? I have a guess: we´re searching for the same thing which lead that burglar into my flat, the thing that leads many others like him to seek a refuge, a place where warmth and the promise of Love still exists. When you look at It (him) up close (in his eyes) you recognize we´re all One.