“You just don’t understand, it was blooming! That’s, like, once every two years! You have to get it back.” His eyes darted around the room as if seeing after-images of all the burglar’s steps.
“Sir, with all due respect, your apartment is half-burned out and your front door is split, and you want us to… find your cactus?” the policeman said.
“Yes! I can’t be more clear on this. You have to find it. Do you have any idea how old it was? Who gave…” the tears suddenly welled up. Damn this policeman, could he not see the obvious value of such a cactus? “Do you hold anything to be universally sacred, officer?”
“Well…I have a wife and ki-”
“Yes yes, but what about the things that really matter? The deep things of the earth?”
“Please understand, sir, that with our limited resources we simply cannot-”
“Helicopters. I want helicopters on this. Right away.”
“You, detective, are being completely unreasonable. I thought with all your training you would be prepared for such a disaster as this. Why are you looking at me like that?”
“OK, sir, this is what we’ll do. We are going to make every effort to find your houseplant. We will scour the town. You will receive the utmost dedication in resolving your case, truly. Now will you sit down?”
“Houseplant, my God, man, houseplant? I’ll pray for your soul.”
“Yes, sir, that would be most kind of you.”
The man sank to his knees. This guy was never going to get it back. The desert was going to completely take over now. Everything was lost.