On Saturday, the girl in the apartment below me got robbed. She’d had friends over the night before and as they were loading up their cars the next day, two guys had snuck in the apartment. When the cars pulled away, we believe the two guys thought everybody had left, when really, my neighbor had stayed and only her friends had gone.
The guys – men – boys in bandannas – yelled at her to get down.
My cousin relayed the story to me that night.
“And then she ran…” (yes, exactly, that’s what I’d do, get out of there)
“… to get a knife…” (whoa, no)
We’ve already gone over how I won’t be using a knife on anyone. Remember Pele’s knife?
A Swedish bridge engineer living in Bangkok, we’d met in Barcelona. He’d called me leather-backed, as though my backpack was made of leather rather than nylon, as though I knew what I was doing and was not to be messed with.
And then at goodbye and at the door of my hostel, he gave me his knife for my protection. Now it’s with me in my apartment.
But let me tell you, I said it then and I’ll say it now – going to a knife for my defense would not end well for me. I’d rather smile and hand them all my electronics and money. I’d even give them tips on where to spend it.
Not my neighbor. She ran to grab a knife. She was hit in the face… because she hit them first. And then they got away with her stuff, but she’s okay. Leather-backed. Maybe a whole lot moreso than me.
But that’s wouldn’t be the end of the story, because I swear things happen for this blog sometimes, when I’m low on material and a dearth in stories begins to drive me stir-crazy. While the police were here, Albany was under a tornado watch. As the investigation was underway, a cracking sound was heard. The policeman yelled, “Get in the house!” and the upper portion of our giant tree- the one that provides the shade to my second-story porch – came crashing down on our front stoop.
That night, I’d go for the trifecta – I’d leave the iron plugged in before going to a show, just in case our robbed, tree-crashed apartment building needed to burn down before I remembered I never called back the-next-day-eight-months-ago to get renter’s insurance for $8 per year like I told the rep I would.
Lesson learned. Boy suggested I get mace and a rape whistle. In a silly and cynical fit of giggles, I cracked up at the thought of me standing in the middle of my kitchen blowing on a whistle like a teapot of boiling water, likely while wearing my Ms. Frizzle dress covered in zebras. That’ll show him, stupid attacker. Don’t mess with me.
Now I’m laying bundled up home, coffee in hand, How I Met Your Mother on television, snuggled in my boyfriend’s sweatshirt sitting up just barely enough I don’t lazily dribble coffee on it, all windows closed and bolted because as of today it doesn’t feel like summer and all potential climbing intruders are now locked out.
Sometimes I go a little nuts when I don’t have a story to tell here. It’s that stir-crazy I mentioned earlier – I don’t do quiet time well. Solo, at least. There are not enough books to be read, I cannot sit in the sun and tan without over-thinking how warm I’m getting. Quiet time makes me crazy. No stories makes me nuts.
…But a robbery and a jungle to get to my front door?
Not what I had in mind.
My new college roommate and I bonded five years ago when we realized we both knew every run and nuance of this song. And sang it loudly, captured on video, for proof.
For her, inspired by the robbers.