Nothing is mine except what I steal. I train for the midnight heist like a triathlete for the deft lift like a chess master considering every possibility training every muscle. I have the patience of a bank clerk casing the job night after night and when the time finally comes an undertaker is not more circumspect a prize fighter is not more determined. I am a priest I am a nurse I am a fireman I am a lawyer— and no lawyer is more necessary and more despised no fireman more brave and manly no nurse more firm yet gentle no priest more unctious. Yet . . . nothing is mine except what I steal. I infiltrate an office like an overdue account I enter a union hall like a well-deserved raise I make house calls able to repair your heater and nothing is mine except what I steal. I steal your money I steal your time I steal your job I steal your freedom. It doesn’t matter whether I deserve it. I don’t care about birthrights or duties. I am your friend I am your lover I am you. This is what I steal. I steal my voice I steal my eyes, my hair, my tongue I steal my golf-pro step my baseball-player swing my M.C. smile. All these I have all these I claim however denied.

30 December 1999