Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Acts of Crime and revelations of Wonder

Get robbed at Gun Point Give freely to others

After an evening of reflection and proper sleep everything in life becomes a slight tinge of rosy for me. I'm even prone to giggling over silly things or things that are not supposed to be giggled at, like armed robbery. Even as I now write, I can't help chuckling and doling out the pragmatic advice that you must absolutely add one more item to your list of things to do in life ::Get robbed at Gun Point Give freely to others.
In the end it's an experience like anything else and it's not so much the experience, but what you do with it that counts. My experience is actually quite funny because it starts out with a psychic reading. I have never been to a professional psychic reading in my life. In High School they had women dressed like gypsy's at our graduation party and a gypsy told me that I would be rich. As it turns out, she had the same insight for most of the student body, so I've come to discount that reading. I was also accidentally read as I sat in a crowd observing as a famous Australian medium talked with dead people. It just so happened that my recently deceased grandpa came through and had a lot to say about the state of my messy room and that I should actually for once in my life make my bed. The medium/psychic also professed that I would continue to work in media and live on an island. Sort of looks like Britian, an earth island, he said. So that went on to come true and certainly peaked my interest in the topic.

Tuesday evening I had a spectacular first reading (a birthday gift) and as I walked back to Bart sort of glowing in wonder, a spontaneous thought came to me-- wouldn't it be hilarious if I got robbed right after seeing a psychic? I took mental note that, I should write that into a story.  Ha ha ha! Not two minutes later I turned off  toward Bart and out of the darkness emerged two shady looking guys and I thought, they look shady. They look very very shady. They're probably selling drugs, but I should walk faster. I bolstered myself and shouted triumphantly in my head, never fear because you are like super giant, like a mountain, like 6 feet tall and protected by a bubble of love and kindness, and magic and --

It was about then that I heard the feet SPRINTING behind me and found a gun suddenly pressed into my ribcage, which I found deeply offensive. I don't like to be touched by strangers. I also have an aversion to guns because they have a nasty record of harming humankind more so than helping. The young robber boy seemed to sense that and backed away, but remained careful to point the gun at my ribs as his partner hovered behind me.

A friend mentioned that robbers should really be more polite and  just ask  before pulling their guns. I definitely second that motion because I really fail to see the need for violence in these transactions. Truly, everything could be worked out in a polite way. A robber could simply initiate a conversation with a stranger in a dark alley, (which is scary enough) and allude to the idea that he has a gun. After that, the robber and the person he met on the street could hold a polite conversation. I'm personally not so attached to my stuff that I wouldn't readily give it to someone else who was so in need, that he felt pressed to accost (me) a total stranger on the street. Likewise, I would have given these two young men everything with the stipulation that they promise to email me my folder of writing once they got home. Alternatively, if  I had a USB flash drive on me, I would have asked to save a few files on there before sending them on their way. The meeting would have come away feeling much more amicable and perhaps we'd even end up friends. Of course, if I refused to give them my loot, they could stick the gun into my ribs, and move forward with standard operating robbery procedure.

Let me share my most intimate thoughts in my moment of crisis:

11 things running through my head at gunpoint in order of appearance

1)Can't move... voice gone....groaaannn
2)Is that gun real?
3)Does his friend have a gun?
4)If I scream will they shoot? or run?
5)Am I afraid to die?
6)Haven't you guys missed your curfew? Shouldn't you be doing homework?
7)What would Jackie Chan do?
8)Hmm...surprisingly OK with dying
9)Confundo! Confundo Dammit! (So much for my Harry Potter wizardry skills)
10)Am I afraid of a bullet in my lungs and suffocating to death in torturous pain?
11)Oh my god yes! Give him the bag!

I dropped my bag on the ground and they patted me down. This also made me angry but then they communicated that they were looking for my phone and I said it's in the bag. Then they took off running.

8 things that ran through my head after the robbery (as I was sobbing uncontrollably)

1)Oh wait - not my screenplay! anything but that! I worked the whole weekend!
2)Oh noooo! They might read my poetry, my digital journal, my short stories, my novel!
3)My holiday pictures! (shit -- did I delete the naked ones...)
4)Ok, the novel is really bad, but my paper journal, my reoccuring john cusack dream story!
5)They took my dried mango and my To-Go Ware!
6)Hah! They will be so disappointed when they see my phone
7)I wonder if their pimp will beat them up for picking lame loot
8)Get off your ass you cry baby and call the cops maybe they can be caught!

As you can see, I was really quite lucky to have run into a situation where there was no intention to harm, just desire for money or objects that are flashy or translate into money. I did spend a sleepless night awake unable to grasp the why's. Why didn't I recognize my voice as a warning, why didn't I scream and freak out, why don't I have pepper spray on me, why did I walk alone on turf I don't know well. Also, why didn't I recognize the hush? Before every major (as well as minor yet significant) moment in life, where the world has something to show you, as if parting the curtains just for you, there is a hush. It's a sort of rhythm where goose bumps rise on your skin as you recall, this life we live is a dialogue. We are never alone. If we listen, our road is much less rocky, and I wasn't really listening, so often I don't. Why?

I stepped into a stage play that had a bit of drama, a bit of action, a bit of tinged sadness. Now nearly two days later I sit in reflection writing down the meaning I choose to take from this. What I find myself writing is the word "grateful."


Grateful that as I knocked on a strangers door afterward in tears, asking them to call the police, telling them about a gun in front of their doorstep, the two young men who had just moved into their house, just moved into the neighborhood, were overwhelmingly gentle and kind. Grateful that the officer who answered had a sense of humor and reminded me that I did the right thing because I'm unharmed. Grateful for the hug my husband gave me after, the way it healed me. Grateful for the friends who called and sent me their well wishes and warm thoughts. Grateful that I'm healthy and unharmed.

Grateful that my grateful list has widened even more and an act of crime has turned into a revelation of wonder.

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