It’s been a couple of weeks now since two young men jumped out of an unmarked SUV to relieve me of my purse and backpack.
Since this event, I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot and from quite a few angles.
I think about the physicality of it all. The physical objects taken: a worry-stone, a little pink bear, two apples, and a month’s worth of journals. And I think about the physical bodies in play. And specifically about my body, once again, not my own.
It is not a little thing, this past election. And it is not unconnected. The highest office in the country is held by someone who is on tape bragging about sexual assault.
So, no, I wasn’t hit. I wasn’t stabbed. I wasn’t shot.
But I still felt violated. To have someone so close to my body without my permission. And to have someone take my innermost thoughts, my little fluttering hearts, and dump them who knows where.
So. I am okay. And I am not okay.
I have been thinking, since this event, how I feel about the people who did this. I cannot tell if I am angry at them or not. On the one hand, people, I believe, have free will and are responsible for their actions. On the other hand, there but for the grace of God go I.
I do not believe this was personal. I didn’t know these people from Adam (not my brother, of course). I believe that I was only one of many that these people have robbed. And isn’t it saying something that there are people in this society who believe the only way to make money is by stealing my worthless crap? That money is more important than someone else’s right to walk to work at 6:00AM on a Saturday?
These are the claws of capitalism, a society that disparages and demeans its component parts until they feel compelled to prey on the seemingly weak.
I am trying, in the aftermath, to find what hasn’t been lost. And as usual I fall back on gratitude.
That for all the people on the planet who are there to steal my silly little purse, there are also people willing to buy me lunch, take me to get my bike fixed, and give me their old phones.
For all the people who are there to harass and belittle me, who make me feel weak, unwanted, and alone, there are people who make me feel strong, who lift me up, who tell me that I am important, I am worthwhile, I am alive.
I am so incredibly lucky. So lucky to know these people.
And I can only hope the people who took my backpack and purse can meet people like them who will challenge, inspire, and uplift them.
And I hope they ate the apples.