Bad People

Yesterday I had my purse stolen. I was in a quiet corner of a public place that I visit daily for writing sessions. Everyone is always, always quietly respectful and attentive to their own work. We recognize each other though, for the most part, smile at the children who come in, and our eyes glitter at the parents. It’s a happy place. A safe place. A place largely inhabited by kind, quiet souls who create — some for a living, and others because it’s simply what we do.

What we don’t do is steal.

Every day I spend a few hours writing. It’s hard to write at home — too many chores starting me in the face — so I trek daily to my favorite bookstore, grab a chair, fall immediately into my zone, and have at it. It’s a beautiful part of my day — silence, creativity, kindred spirits, and a lovely unspoken support for each other.

I’m not going to say that yesterday changed things, because I won’t allow that. It will take me a few days though. I’m mad. Hurt. But trucking along, or attempting to.

Yesterday was a very quiet day — only a few tables taken, and I sat in my usual spot, wedged my bag and my computer bag between the table and the short wall, turned my chair at a slight angle, pulled out my laptop, and started writing. I was aware of a guy sitting close behind me — he was a bit gangly and wore all gray. I had my head in my work, as did the others around me. Well, mostly.

I started a post about Ireland. When I finished a quick first draft, I reached for my bag so I could grab an afternoon snack. The bag was now under my chair rather than against the wall and beneath bag two, as I had left it. I pulled it out, looked through it several times, and realized that my purse was indeed missing. This guy was smooth.

It’s been 22 years since my purse was last stolen, Twenty-two years since our house was robbed. You begin to trust. Again. I spent the rest of the day closing accounts with my husband. I think we shut him down (along with his several $2200 Nordstrom purchases and a $775 drugstore purchase), so hopefully there’s not much of a financial loss.

The loss, of course, is trust.

I’m going to try my level damn best to hold on to it.