Anyway, it has been six years today-ish since I was robbed at gunpoint in front of our old apartment in the East Hillside. It was super weird and it took a while to feel normal. Today I Googled-up the old post I wrote about it in 2008. It's surprisingly whimsical. Here's the one I wrote immediately afterward, like I didn't want to get scooped or something.
So here's my One Hit Wonder.
How Being Robbed at Gunpoint Changes Your Life, Day 1
why no one updates blogs between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. remains a mystery.
2. the phone will ring at 10:30 a.m., which you can ignore. you don't know who's calling because when you were robbed at gunpoint, you accidentally squeezed your cell phone so hard that the screen is broken. now it looks like woozy psychodelic art from the side of a fish tour bus, and so you play russian roullette with answering and choose no. when they call back, you assume they are serious.
jcrew reads you a police report, which is pretty accurate save for one crucial fact -- when you were robbed at gunpoint, the robbers did not get your purse, they got your backpack and your lunch bag. it's as surprising to you as it probably was to them, as they rolled down the avenue finding a sweaty sports bra, running pants and socks, a newish pair of asics running shoes, a flat iron, a makeup bag, brush, empty shampoo bottle and conditioner, a padlock and probably $1.50 in change; leftover gazpacho and a water bottle.
there is no sleep after that. there are lots of emails, phone calls, texts, blog comments. you realize you know a lot of people who aren't assholes who would rob you at gunpoint, and you are grateful.
3. soon you segue to angry: why does someone think it is okay to hold a gun in your face and demand that you give him your leftover gazpacho and sarah jessica perfume and hanes white medium-sized tank top, soiled by a six-mile run? how does he rationalize that? if this had happened to him, what would he do? and how did he know you hadn't been robbed at gunpoint before, gone through therapy and karate and gotten a gun? as bad of a time as it is to be a noncriminal, it's a pretty bad time to be a criminal. you could have popped that mfckr's ass. did you? no. you're sane. you save money for my bulk supply of hanes tank tops instead of putting a gun in someone's face and demanding their gazpacho leftovers and burt's bees conditioner.
4. the replacement part is fun, admittedly: hello, target. you need everything. just for sport, you throw in running pants and a sports bra to replace the ones that were lost at gunpoint. you have more at home, but you want to immediately replace what you lost.
when it comes to the padlock, you inspect the options thinking 'just because i had this one doesn't mean i need the same one again.' so in this one rare instance, you deviate. but you opt for another edie bauer backpack in a different color. the same running shoes in lime green.
a book from barnes n noble to make this less of a business trip. you purchase "night of the gun" by david carr, ignoring the irony.
5. this is getting expensive. at first you relish the fact that you don't have to cancel your debit card and buy a new camera and ipod. but backpack, makeup -- but even foundation, mascara and lipstick can add up -- face lotion, running shoes, conditioner ... . something that was likely ditched on jefferson street -- means nothing to the person who put a gun in my face -- will cost hundreds of dollars to relace and give him zero dollars of satisfication -- unless he wears size 8 1/2 women's shoe and has a b cup.
6. you come home to find the local nbc affiliate is setting up to shoot live from your sidewalk in front of your house. you say: "what's going on?" to a woman with a plastic perfect arrangement of helmet hair and dark lipstick. "oh, someone got robbed here last night at gunpoint," she tells you. "that was me," you say. she says "really! wow!" you tell her if she has any questions, you'll be inside zipping and unzipping your new edie bauer backpack.
you watch her tell your story on tv. interview the neighbors. images of your house appear on tv. whenever she says "32 year old victim" it sounds like she is talking about someone else. and when they pan on your address, you question if that was necessary. when it's over, you walk outside and tell her: you know, he didn't get my purse. he got a bag of sweaty damp clothes and my leftover soup." she says "i wish i'd known that before i went on air." you think she is obviously lazy, since you basically layed on the sidewalk and begged her to ask you about it. you're no journalism major, but ... oh wait.
you are in the "can't tell the story enough" stage. the people at the running shoe store can attest to that. your loss, nbc affiliate.
7. you go for a long long run on a treadmill at the ymca, where no one can sneak up on your left size and put a gun in your face. you go six miles and suspect you could go six more easily.
8. you decide you deserve frozen pizza -- the good kind -- and organic potato chips. the line is at least 15 deep and your friend drock is in the no. 2 spot. you wave your pizza at him. you were robbed at gunpoint last night, tonight you will jump line. you give him money and tell him the story. by now it is starting to sound like a story about something you saw on the lifetime movie network. if this were an episode of "the facts of life," you and tootie would sign up for a self defense class after the commercial break.
9. you make sure that you get home when it is dark, but not too dark. you want to see that neighbors are awake, but you don't want to be the sort of person who is afraid of the dark. still, parking makes you a little skittish. and you're further from the house than you are comfortable with. you force yourself to walk at a leisurely pace to the front door. you're keyed up, but wish someone would at least applaud your performance of: woman behaving normally less than 24 hours after she had a gun pointed at her forehead.
10. when a lightbulb pops in the entryway, you jump, turn around and run up the steps. your boyfriend has to look downstairs and make sure no one has shot open the front door.
11. you decide to go out. rt quinlan's is teeming with people who look like the man who robbed you at gunpoint. you can't stop looking over your shoulder. you watch them when they are outside smoking on the screen display of the surveillance cameras behind the bar. eventually you loosen up. the beer helps. and by the time you get home, you can walk into the house with ease. you celebrate with wine. then you celebrate more with 13 solid hours of sleep.
chuck refers to this as "taking back the night."
12. day 2 begins with a headache and ends being locked up snug in your apartment with tv, toonses and a tori spelling movie. in between you gave yourself pep talks and mentally rehearsed the process of parking after dark. when you whine that you don't want to be a person who is afraid to be out at night, chuck reminds you that you don't have to go back to normal today. that you can take your time and maybe day two is just too soon.
here's hoping for day three.