I was robbed on Friday night. My sister, my friend Angie, and I went out dancing to a club on 6th and Market. I had my bag in the trunk of Angie's car and the car was broken into. She lost her purse and I lost my bag and my jacket. They didn't take my sister's leather jacket which was also in the trunk nor did they take a camera in a camera case or anything else of value that was in the trunk. Just our two bags and my stupid little cotton Eddie Bauer $25 jacket. Thieves are weird.
However, these were right on the money when they took my bag. It was stuffed to bursting after my day at work. I had a big messenger bag filled with everything I carry with me, my wallet, my checkbook, my cell phone, my palm pilot, my digital camera, my books, my lipsticks, some new CDs I hadn't listened to yet, my walking shoes... There were plenty of other things, lots of little things like a brand new bus pass and a prescription I'd just gotten refilled, things that aren't as strikingly expensive to replace but still make my life more difficult and drain my bank account. I feel like I'm being robbed again every time I pay to re-buy something I lost.
Angie and my sister kept saying "At least no one was hurt" and such and I knew in my head that they were right, we still had ourselves. We could have been murdered or raped, we could have had the bags stolen off of us, mugged and badly hurt. There were lots of possibilities. The fact is that none of that came close to happening that night. Hearing that I was alive didn't seem like that big of a deal, since my life hadn't been in danger. What seemed like a big deal was losing all of those possessions that I drape myself with.
I feel like I've been stripped--I feel bare. I went out this weekend and found myself reaching for a purse. Then I realized that there was nothing to put in it. All I had was my driver's license and a twenty dollar bill which I'd had in my bra when I went into the club. So I shoved these in my pocket and walked out the door. I heard this sort of thing is supposed to be freeing, suddenly having all the stuff we carry with us to tie us down taken away is supposed to allow us to feel free and easy, less encumbered. I just feel lost. I don't have my "toys" as everyone calls them, the electronics I use every single day. I don't have the bag I carried with me every day to work and back. I don't have the cute pink pen I bought in Japantown. I don't have the lipsticks that I wear every single day, that have become a part of who I am when I look in the mirror. I had to pay for the bus today, scrounging for coins at home, because I didn't have my ever-present bus pass.
So even when I look around my room at home and see clothes and jewelry everywhere, magazines and books and everything; I still feel like I have parts missing. Because while all of those things are part of who I am too (god forbid anyone ever steals my wardrobe) the things I had in that bag were the essentials, the parts of me that are closest to me, that have a role in every one of my days and some that own a part of me. My Palm had my short stories in it (they were backed up thankfully). My camera had some pictures I hadn't downloaded yet. My phone had all the phone numbers of my favorite people in it (hopefully all backed up as well, so far so good). It's funny that possessions can become so much a part of your life and so many people try to say that they shouldn't, but the fact is that they do and they are. I don't know anyone who doesn't get bummed when they lose their favorite pair of sunglasses or the book they were reading or their favorite jacket. Of course they become a part of you--not in as significant a way as a friend or a lover or a family member, but they do. And it's sad when they're gone. But unlike friends or lovers or mothers, things are replaceable--painful though it may be to the bank account. And I remind myself that I didn't lose anything irreplaceable except my sense of safety and a little faith in the world. If I'm lucky, I suppose I might even get those back someday.