We have a “Ruffler.”
This is what Ben called him the first time it happened, the first time our car was broken into last year. We went to open the door of our car one morning and discovered that it was ajar. Trash was strewn all over the passenger seat along with owners’ manuals, registration papers, a swiss army knife, a few tampons and a number 2 pencil. All that seemed to be missing was the spare change. I explained to Ben that someone had rifled through our car in the middle of the night.
But who ruffled our car? Ben asked in disbelief.
I like calling him the Ruffler because it sounds more friendly, less like a violation and more like a person who simply makes mischief and mess wherever they go. We also have a name for this guy because he has done this to our car a good 7 times now. Every time we have forgotten to lock the doors– those occasions when I have extracted a screaming toddler from the car seat and hurriedly ushered him into the house (thus forgetting to lock up) the Ruffler strikes again.
It’s possible he is the most dependable force in my life. A law of the Universe. Pure cause and effect.
I’ve been more diligent about locking doors since the Ruffler came into our lives. Not just the car doors, but the house as well. He demands that I cross my T’s more than usual; he demands a kind of precision and excellence that perhaps I let fall by the wayside. I imagine he is a kind of angel, here for a purpose, to protect me from a much greater harm with his annoying shenanigans.
I have been tempted to leave the car door open and rig a camera in there, to film the Ruffler in action. He has left cigarette butts in the car before, garbage, and once a nice pair of sunglasses that I’m guessing he acquired from another vehicle. But I don’t really want to know who he is.
I prefer to think of him as a force or an energy, not a real person.
I prefer to think of him as someone who asks me to stay present and awake, who remembers to check the doors before falling asleep, who reminds me of the simple laws of the Universe.