That way the day my perspective on my little neighborhood changed. The day actually started out fantastically, my dear friend Amber came into town for a short visit. I always love to see her, I loaned her my car so she could visit a few of her friends while I worked and we met up for a lovely lunch. She was so kind to top of my gas tank, little did I know that was a huge blessing.
Later that evening another dear friend Traceylee arrived to spend the weekend at The Green. We went out to Xyclo for a delicious Vietnamese dinner and then off to Ici for scrumptious ice cream. We laughed the entire time, talked about all of our many plans for that weekend and I thought this day was quite a blissful one.
In a few moments it changed from pure bliss to well not my favorite moment ever. As the three of us were walking up our well lit driveway, giggling and having an all round grand time little did we know a new phase of our lives was about to begin. Being the last of the group (A-Gril was already at the door, TL right behind her on the steps) I turned at the movement I saw out of the corner of my eye and smiled big at the man walking up the driveway with a gun pointed right at us. I thought at first it was a neighbor, hence the lame smile. My brain was not recognizing what was going on fast enough, that is when I asked him if he was serious. Yep now I know what my first reaction would be when a gun is pointed at me. As if he was going to rethink what he was doing and walk away. I guess I am snarky (or dumb) in every situation, not that I ever want to go through this again.
He told us to get on the ground, not to look at him and hand over our purses. I guess we weren't doing it fast enough we he put the gun to my head. NEVER do I want that to happen again nor would I wish that feeling on anyone. We handed over our stuff and he told us to run towards our neighbors and not look back or else he would shoot.
We pounded on our neighbors back door, poor guy he had yet to meet us and now he had 3 hysterical women in his living room. I called 911 going through all of the regular questions, what, where, how. Another one of my stellar moments came when the dispatcher started asking personal questions about myself. What is your race, hair color, description of the other two and my age...that is when I stumbled. Wah? I asked, Your age she replied. I had not yet come to terms with my recent birthday and now I had to mention out loud in our rather good looking neighbors house my age. Hurriedly I whispered...37, ugh seriously I had just be mugged at gun point and that is what I worried about.
The Police Officer arrived rather quickly, 6 min to be exact, and another arrived shortly after he checked the gas station on the corner. They were both amazing and talked us down. Asking us which way he went and of course we didn't know they figured he ran down hill. We all had to give our own statements and while A-gril and TL were giving theirs the neighbor stayed and kept me company. Of course A-gril and TL said I was flirting...I was not, we don't know how to flirt in my family, I just needed someone to talk to and something else to think about.
After I gave my statement we all went inside and bolted the door, called our banks, stopped credit cards, etc. and then the shakes and the realization started to sink in. There was no way we were going to sleep. I called my boss to let him know what had happened and that I had much to do on Friday, spoke with my friend Marielle, because she is always up late, then watched as A-Gril and TL discussed the merits of real vs l.e.d candles (funny conversation to have after being mugged)
We all went to bed, slept restlessly, awoke early only to call my boss again. That is when all of the phone calls started and my voice started to get raw. I swear telling my parents was the hardest. Then we were off to banks to get some money so that we could go the the DMV (blech). Funny thing you need an id to get money and money to get an id, granted TL did not find that amusing. The DMV took forever as expected and we are all waiting for our new DL.
It was 3 before we were able to eat lunch, while the others went to get Trueburger (because we deserved it) I waited for the locksmith. Oh he was interesting and I was so happy when Britta called, just because I needed to talk to her and not him. Thankfully the others returned and chatted it up with him (not that it was fun for them either). Later that night Britta, Shay and Baby Cal brought over soup and well needed company. Who knew how therapeutic it could be to have a simple dinner and good friends over.
We have all had our ups and downs that past few weeks. Relayed the story at least a hundred times between the 3 of us. Relied on the Lord and good family/friends to get us through, laughed when needed, cried when needed, breathed deep when having to face going outside, forced our selves on long walks, forced ourselves to go out at night, flinched at the memory, been deeply grateful that what was lost could be replaced, changed our routines, worry incessantly about others and if they are safe or not.
I have learned that I still hate guns, to travel light, everything is replaceable (some for a fee), I strongly dislike the word mugged (it makes the situation sound trivial), that I don't care what you would have done in the situation ("maced him", "taken him down because I know some moves", "used your gun") because what we did was absolutely the right thing and to finish my ice cream cone faster because I didn't get to that night.
And there is my story about the day Oakland lived up to it's image. I am determined not to let that ruin my love and image of this little part of town. It may take awhile to regain trust in the general human population but I will, I am determined to do so.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Happy November!!!This is my favorite time of year. I have much to post...more on SAL's trip to the Bay (I know we did so much), a recent trip to Idaho and SLC, Halloween, Birthday, a mugging (yep you read that right, it sucked), visit's from lovely friends, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's and much much more.
I am off to the above mentioned show (Thanks A-gril for the present) and I promise not to let you hang much longer.