Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tell me, please. Most people are honest, aren't they?

Because I find it so hard to believe that anyone, especially in the small and lovely town of Ennis, Montana, would deliberately steal an item out of the back of a car, it has taken me this long to admit that someone did. The compact disks for eighteen audio books for the late Joan Bochmann's novel Absaroka, mentioned in my previous post, were indeed lifted from the trunk of my car as we were loading up from the authors' sale at the Madison Valley Arts Festival on August 8.

After searching thoroughly, asking others and at the bank, (on whose lawn the event was held) and running a want ad in the lost and found section of the paper, I’ve finally accepted the only possible explanation, someone walked by, lifted the box (and a bag of a half dozen or so books that I’d purchased from other authors at the event) from the trunk of my car as they went by. Why? I’ll never know. I suppose the open maw was inviting and the only two things in the car small enough to take in a hurry were carried off. I just couldn't think why anyone would want a box of 72 CDs (eighteen audio books without cases or covers) and so was very reluctant to believe it, although there was no other explanation.

When I finally realized that the books I bought for gifts were missing, too, I had to admit that someone intentionally stole them. Perhaps, on seeing what was in the box, the disappointed thieves dropped it in a trash receptacle somewhere. For if it had been found, it would have come back to me, as the shipping label was still on it. And most people are honest, right?

I'd like to believe that the thieves would sort through and find disks 1 through 4 of this book and listen to the velvet voice of Scott Tanner as he reads Joan's awesome story, and I hope they at least read the books they stole, but, it's hard for me to believe readers could also be thieves—the novel The Book Thief (one of my favorites) not withstanding. It’s disheartening to think of the kinds of people who would do this, but I’ve learned a lesson about trust. 

Or have I? I've learned to lock my car when I have something of value inside. And next time, I might close the trunk between loads, though it would be considerably less convenient. But I still desperately want to believe that most people are honest and respectful of others' rights and property. Please tell me that this is true.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The mystery of the disappearing audio CDs

When I sold the last audio book, four CDs of the magic voice of Scott Tanner reading Joan Bochmann's novel, Absaroka, I ordered more, hoping to have them here by my next book sale at the Madison Valley Arts Festival in downtown Ennis, Montana. They didn't get here on Friday, as I'd hoped, but there was still opportunity if they came the next day. From the festival venue on Saturday, I called my post office in a town 16 miles away. Yes they were there. Should I go get them, leaving my friend and fellow author to take care of both our tables of books? A tiny voice said, "no," but I immediately hushed it and said, "What the heck? It'll only take a few minutes." After all, I live in rural Montana, where we are accustomed to driving long distances to work, to medical appointments, to get groceries, mail packages, or to visit a "neighbor."

I got the package containing compact discs for 20 books, buzzed right back to our table, filled the two cases I'd brought with me, and had them on the table for display in less than an hour. Though rainy and cool, we had a fun and productive day. People were not discouraged by the weather and the park filled with visitors. We sold a lot of books—but no audio books.

At four o'clock we packed up to leave. After loading everything in the trunk of my car, my friend did a double check just to make sure we did not leave anything behind. All was well and good—until I started to put the rest of the CDs in the cases I had at home. I couldn't find the CDs. "Hmm, where did I put them?" I searched the house, the car, all around the car and the house dozens of times before admitting they are not here. They have to be, but they aren't. Via email, my friend verified that she had placed them in the trunk of my car and even told me just where they sat in relation to other boxes.

So, yes, they have to be here. But they are not. And what's baffling is that there is no explanation for why they are not. They couldn't have fallen out of a locked trunk. They were not left behind. We didn't stop anywhere else. I emptied every box we brought home and put everything away. That box of CDs is NOT here! I believed for a while that it would "turn up." I no longer have any such hope. They have disappeared. Vanished. Ceased to exist. There is no other explanation.

I will have to order and pay for more and in the meantime, as I'm prone to do, I keep running a different scenario through my mind. My rueful look backward as I desire to change what can't be changed. It's my realization of what I SHOULD have done. In this lovely scene, I listen to that tiny voice that always speaks the truth, and do NOT go to the post office and get the CDs. In this dream, I pick them up with my mail on Monday morning and they are now safely in my possession ready to tuck into the audio book covers. That's hindsight, where my vision is 20-20. Maybe next time I'll listen. But haven't I said that before?