Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Father Wants Me To Get a Gun

Depending on how you’re looking at things . . .
I am either the luckiest person alive or the unluckiest.
I’ve said before that my life is just a series of crises, and here’s more proof.

Let’s ignore the car wrecks for a minute.
Or the random things that happen to me.
And let’s focus on today:

The day started off extremely well.
Up and at ‘em by 4:45.
Shower, dress, gather materials for work.
Got to talk on the phone to the sweetest man on the planet.
45 minute commute seemed to take no time at all.
Pirated internet connection at the daycare worked - so I got to blog and catch up on some of my favorite blogs while I was waiting on my therapy kids to complete certain tasks.
All wonderful things!

I drive to my next center.
Again, great experience.
He is my autistic child and he was having a wonderful day.
Talkative - for him - and on target with his goals.
So, I’m really upbeat when I go out to my truck to drive to the third center of the day.

The third center is one of my favorites.
I have 5 therapy kids there and the staff are AMAZINGLY good with the kids.
Also, and this is crazy and I know it, but it’s in a church and always makes me feel safe.
Until today.

The parking lot is on the side of the church with no windows.
The door is about 25 yards from the nearest parking spot.
But it’s the middle of the morning.
Yes, it’s a bad neighborhood.
Technically, it’s the ghetto.
The Kroger down the street is where three murders have occurred.
But they were all at night.
And I’m ALWAYS out of the area before dark.
Do you see where this is going?

I’m aware of my surroundings.
I see no one.
So I do what I always do.
I open the truck door, get out and then lean over the seat to pull my briefcase with my laptop and files out of the passenger seat.
That’s when I feel someone behind me.
Enter The Crackhead.
We’re going to call him The Crackhead because that’s what he looked like.
And that’s what the police guess he was.

The Crackhead demanded I give him all my cash.
I, quite honestly, told him I don’t have any cash.
I didn’t. And I don’t. I don’t carry cash anywhere near that neighborhood.
Because of all the homeless people that are constantly approaching me for money.
I carry my driver’s license and ONE credit card.
Just in case.

Well, he didn’t like my answer . . .
So he showed me his knife and pushed the point of it into my side.
And again demanded my money.
I, as calmly as possible through tears, told him again that I didn’t have any money.
So he reached over me, popped my console and took the MAYBE four dollars in change that was in there.
And ran.

He’s obviously not the smartest thief.
He could have taken anything.
The SUV, the laptop, the cell phone in my hand . . . .
All he took was the four dollars in nickels, pennies and dimes.
And any sense of safety I had.

After I regain my balance and stop shaking and crying, I run to the center doors and ring the bell.
We call the police, I text-mail the sweetest man in the world and I let myself cry for a few minutes until the police get there.

The police tell me that it’s highly unlikely that they will catch him.
That he was probably just a drug addict looking for money for a fix.
That I should count myself very lucky that all he took was the change.
That I should feel even luckier that I wasn’t hurt.
And that I should be proud of myself for doing the right thing:
Not reacting, not fighting, just let him take what he wants and go.

I call my mom.
Because that’s what you do when you’re scared out of your mind.
Mom tells me, and I quote: “I’ve been waiting on this to happen! You work in the ghetto! What did you expect to happen??”
That’s how mom reacts.
Horror first, anger first. Then caring.
“Are you okay? He didn’t hurt you did he? Oh, Brittany, you have to get another job. I can’t take this worrying about you all the time.”

I call Birdie.
Who handles things like I do.
Laughter.
“He knifed you for four dollars?? That’s great.”
So I laugh a little.

My father calls.
Poster boy for the NRA.
“We gotta get you a gun. You shoulda shot that sucker in the face. That happens to these assholes a coupla times and people will stop robbing people.”
“Ummm, dad, isn’t it more likely that he would just take the gun from me and kill me.”
No comment.
But I had to laugh . . . probably because of the shock.

And I’ve been laughing ever since.
I’m sure it will hit me around 2 AM that I could have died.
For four dollars.
And I will start crying again.
But for now . . . I am laughing.
It’s like nothing happened.
I’m still at work, still playing with my kids - - though I’ve noticed I want them in my lap instead of in their PlaySkool chair and table where we normally do our work, still laughing at everything.

I call the sweetest man in the world again.
He concurs that I’m probably in shock.
He recommends I go home or to a friend’s or down to my parents.
But it doesn’t make much sense.
I’m not hurt. I haven’t even really lost anything.
So . . . . I keep on working.
And laughing.
And I'm probably driving him crazy with calls and textmails.

One crisis after another.
I swear.
This is my life.
Sorry this is so discombobulated, I'm still a little out of it.

9 comments:

Coyote Mike said...

I thought we agreed, no more scary stuff happening in your life. That's it, I'm hiring Chud to be your 24 hour bodyguard. Of course, I can only pay him a 6-pack per day, but that's a small price to pay to keep you . . . well i don't know if that would keep you safe.

You did everything right. And I'm so happy that you're ok. Now, remember: No more scaring us for at least a year.

Scorpy said...

This post started out all sweet and nice and when you talked about kids with autism you piqued my interest as my eldest LL (Little Lady) has Aspergers but then it took a turn for the worst and I wish I could have done something. I hate it when people are put in danger. I'm a bit of a white knight that way. Stay Safe - Stay well :) Don't get a gun

Drunken Chud said...

i like your dad. an armed society is a polite society. hehehehehe.

you know, growing up in and around detroit, and having mostly female friends, thus having to be the guy that walks with 5 females down the streets, i know how shitty it can be to be a woman in a bad neighborhood. if that makes sense.

at least you didn't the stupid thing that i like to do. laugh at them. had a gun pulled on me as i was walking downtown. i laughed at the guy and kept walking. on my trip back, the SAME guy was standing around saw me coming and got all worked up and started yelling and waving his gun, which of course made me laugh even more cuz he was just acting like a crazed fool waving his gun as though he was trying to shoot something eratically flying around his head. i asked him, "do you know how stupid you look right now? soooo scary!!!" all while laughing. looking back... he should have shot me. i was taunting him...

glad you got out without injury or great loss hon.

mrshife said...

So glad you are OK. Very scary and I hope you never have to experience that again. Stay safe.

Indiana said...

Your right in your assumption, most people who carry a pistol for protection end up gettign killed with it...

Just give them the money if you have it...

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

Damnit.
See this is WHY I AM THE WAY I AM. This is why I am scared of every stranger who comes too close or looks sketchy. Sammy tells me I am entirely too worried about this shit but obviously I have to be. Look at what just happened to you.
I am SO glad nothing more happened to you. What happened here alone is bad enough. Now you are going to probably be edgy for a while b/c you're going to have lost faith in the common stranger. Well, maybe you won't - but I do. I don't care. Sammy says if I keep it up I'm going to end up missing out on life being too afraid somethin's gonna happen to me. But I mean I still live my life, I'm just very aware of the fact that people out there can hurt you and stalk you and come after you and to trust no one. I do wish I was more calm about things but it's not in my nature.

Your mom's reaction is something like my mom's would be. Because she constantly worries about you working around there EVEN in daylight. I hate that when Sammy will say "it's daylight and people are around."

SO FRICKIN WHAT? How many times do I hear about people getting robbed in grocery store parking lots? Robbed or WORSE. It's unsafe no matter where you are, what time of day, and who you're with.

Sorry.

But it is.

I'm SO glad you didn't end up injured physically. I'm sad that you probably will be still emotionally distraught about it for a while (if you're anything like me - which you are).

I hate crackhead type people. And thieves. Get a FUCKING job. Scaring an innocent WORKING GIRL like that. And for what? You can't even buy drugs for 4 dollars. That will only go towards it.
Not that I know...
Just sayin'...
It's common knowledge anyways.

He didn't steal money he stole your sense of security that you had left.

This is a big deal to me. :(

Steph said...

Thank God you're ok. But i like your dad's idea. That guy deserved to have his guts spilled on the sidewalk! Yes i'm fiesty today dammit! Wish i could kick that fuck head in the goolies.

meghansdiscontent said...

Coyote Mike - I don't think anything or anyone could keep me safe. Karma has something out for me.

Scorpy - If you would like (though I'm sure you're WELL read on the subject) to talk sometime about your daughter, I would love to see if I could help. As for the danger . . . welcome to my life. I won't get a gun. Though, I did tell dad I would take a taser.

Drunken Chud - Daddy's a good ole Southern boy - born and raised. Kill it, stuff it or marry it. You LAUGHED at him??? Wow.

Shifey - Thank you, doll.

Indiana - When he asked for cash, I didn't think he meant my spare change. Good heavens. But I swear I will never argue with a weapon. Blade, gun, what-not. However, I will readily admit that if he had NOT had the knife, I would have contemplated my options. He was a skinny little thing. I think I could have broke him.

Laurie - Ah, girlie. Temper your fear if you can. Sammy's not right in thinking you're too worried (I don't think) but you're probably a little not right in worrying so much. These crazed idiots ARE out there (one of my OT's was held with a machine gun while they took her purse and the purses of the other girls with her!), but the chances of something actually happening to you are pretty rare. What happened to me happened because of WHERE I was . . . unless you frequent ghetto-ish areas, you will probably be okay. Watch me say that and something happen to you and me feel guilty the rest of my life. Just DEFINITELY be aware of your surroundings. That's what kills me about it. I keep going over it in my head and thinking - "You did something wrong! How did you not see ANYTHING about to happen???" And you're right. Daylight DOES NOT MATTER. These morons don't care when they get you or - obviously - what they get. CRACKHEADS. Argh! I'm glad I'm getting past the scared stage to the mad stage. Laurie, chica, you should be a psychologist! :)

Steph - Girlie, had I had some of your kick ass boots - I think I could have taken him out for all of us. Nothing like a stiletto through the eye to make you rethink a life of crime! Love ya, girl!

Anonymous Assclown said...

Indiana
"Your right in your assumption, most people who carry a pistol for protection end up getting killed with it..."

Ummm, would you care to cite a statistic backing this up or are you just going to pull something else out your ass?
This isn't even remotely close to being the truth.
Your dad is right. Get a gun - a .22 pistol is compact enough and without much of a kick. Get a concealed weapons permit and take a safety course. Heck, even shooting at the range can be a blast.