Dear Whoever Broke Into My Car This Morning,

Hello, oh pirate of the back streets, and congratulations on your new possessions. After noting what was missing from my car this morning, I thought that perhaps we could talk a bit about the new things that you own.

First of all, nice job finding that CD player in the console. Only a true professional would know to dig underneath the York Peppermint Patties and fast-food napkins. But you, you put your heart and soul into your job and went the extra mile and I really respect that. The bad news, my friend, is that the CD player is broken. Not just needs new batteries or needs to be opened up and blown into or needs to be taken into the shop. For a while, if I set it on my knee while I was driving, and if I moved it all around, and if the moon and the rings of Saturn were in alignment, I could get a song or two out of it. But its day has passed and I’m sad to say that it’s not going to be much help to you. I wish you the best of luck with it, though, and hey, do you know the guy who stole my cell phone last month? Maybe he can tell you where you can sell it.

Secondly, thanks for finding that cord to my electric cooler! I was looking for it all over that car for months and couldn’t find it, but when I came down to my car this morning, there it was sitting on my seat like an answer from God! I was wondering—while you were looking around in there, you didn’t happen to find a library book, did you? Hmm. It’s overdue and I can’t seem to find it. Maybe you took it. I can understand that, that Michael Cunningham is a pretty amazing writer. Have you gotten to the part where Carlton dies yet? Really sad. Could you return it to the library when you’re done? No rush.

I don’t mean to be a downer, but there was one thing that I wanted to talk to you about. Next time, could you pick up a little? I just cleaned the car a few days ago and there was stuff all over the place when I went down there this morning. You ripped my change container right out from the dash! Pennies were everywhere! My glove-box papers were all crumpled up! And you left the passenger’s door open—what if the battery had died before I had gotten down there? I wouldn’t have been able to make it to school today. Look, I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just saying. What my mom used to tell me was, “Have fun, but pick up when you’re done.” Think about it. It’s pretty easy to remember because it kind of rhymes.

Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way. Anyways, good luck with everything. Sorry I didn’t leave more stuff in there—I guess the cell-phone guy kind of ruined it for you, eh? That’s how it is, though. One bad apple …

Laura C. Winther