Lester Wiley
Lester Wiley

   Few people have had truly adverse effects on my life or happiness.  Lester Wiley didn't have much effect on my happiness, but not for lack of effort.  He did cause me a great deal of stress.  He had a negative net effect on my wealth to the tune of about thirty thousand dollars.  How?  On November 18, 1994, he broke into my house, stole a bunch of stuff and set three closets full of clothes on fire before taking his leave.  That fire pretty much hollowed out my house.  Few books were lost.  No journals and no family photographs were destroyed.  We never did retrieve a couple of pieces of jewelry that had belonged to Adele's mother.  And a sable coat.  (I didn't know until I researched this article that male sables are five times bigger than female sable.  That's called sexually dimorphism.)  The most valuable item I lost was my childhood doll which I called Clownie.  It was quite important to me.  Monnie made it for me.  In my bedroom closet, I found a melted ball of fifty year old nylons that she had used to stuff its head.  Insurance covered most of our losses so it was simply a high stress way to renovate.  He's a sad case.  I have discovered that about two weeks before the writing of these words, he was reincarcerated into the state prison at St. Cloud for receiving stolen goods.  Again.  Again that means he probably stole them, but the police do not have enough evidence to make it stick as burglary.  They had to settle for receiving stolen goods.  There he is, in jail and having been there most of his adult life, will continue to be until March of 2014.  He's forty-seven.  The only assets he has are in a box in a storage facility at the prison.  His only skills are probably illegal ones.  His family is probably done with him.  Only a pretty desparate woman would let him into her apartment.  I assume that somewhere in him is a sweet guy, a generous one, one willing to sacrifice for the right cause.  He probably won't get the chance to test his worth.  I shiver when I think that seventeen years ago, Lester was in the room I am sitting in now.  Scary.  Sad.