Nine in the morning, the best time to break in, take what I want and leave. I’m not saying its sexy. And no, it isn’t legal. But it puts food on the table, at least most of the time. The trick is to do your homework. Know a routine. Most people leave for work by nine––and I’ve had my coffee. I call it my golden hour when shadows are hard-edged from a sun that is well on its way to the top of the world.
Even in the worst alleys, this hour smells of sunlight and coffee. The urine smell doesn’t come till later. Once the heat has settled between the buildings and baked the tenant’s garbage and whatever else is left from the day before.
It is a glorious morning. The metal ladder warm but not hot to the touch. The window is cracked open––like always. Most of my hits are just a job. Business. But today––today it is personal. I know who lives here. I did my research. I followed him home from your place. From the house, we bought together. The house where my kid sleeps and eats and plays. I know where the man works. What he looks like and how many parking tickets he’s had. I take all my jobs seriously, but this one most of all.
I pull the crowbar from my belt. The air is sweeter than usual. Like candy. I taste it for a moment before easing the claw between window and pane…