I was almost-mugged last night and I find myself considerably nonchalant about this.
I have always known my neighborhood was not one of NYC better neighborhoods when I moved in. At its best, this neighborhood may be described as barely decent. It has not been at its best for as while now. It has not reached ghetto status, but I definitely live in “the hood”. Having come from a background of being the perpetrator of some dirty deeds as a teen, I’m even more vigilant against being the potential victim of such as an adult. Which is what made what happened last night interesting to say the least.
I was not dressed-up, and it was not yet 11pm. This is not late for my station at all so there is a fair amount of foot traffic. There were at least two people behind me and maybe another four others spaced out in front of me, when I disembarked. I had my purse slung on my right shoulder, hand around the handle, the way any woman carrying a mini leather steamer trunk of crap would. Because my back was bothering me the past few days, I did something I usually do not do. I used the handrail with left hand. I was halfway down when I heard the commotion of someone running down the stairs. Again, not anything unusual in my neighborhood. However, being pushed from behind and feeling a sudden tug on my purse was very much unusual.
As I said with my background, it didn’t quite work out the way as the attempt-ee planned it. I hold my purses in such a way that my fingers are usually intertwined in some loop or ring. The bag can only slide but so far down my shoulder before my fingers are engaged in the instinct to tighten. It’s not that it can’t be snatched from me, it’s just that takes a more work as the attempted robbers. Most snatch and grabbers go for the easy looking targets, any sign of resistance, they generally just keep moving and find another (hopefully easier), target. That I was on stairs and not flat ground helped. My instinct was to pivot and grab the banister/railing to stop my fall, not extend my arm out. Between the unexpected grip on my bag and the way I was falling, it allowed me to keep my bag as he had no choice but to keep running or risk someone grabbing him. The people in front of me didn’t have a clue as to what happened as the guy ran past them. The guy behind me was dumbstruck for a moment, but stayed with me long enough to make sure I was all right as I finished making my way down the stairs.
The cost of keeping my belongings?
- My wrist is a little sore from the sudden wrenching of the bag snatch and the grabbing of the rail to stop my fall.
- A badly bruised hip and even more pain in my back, but thanks to Advil, Sweet Advil, today has been tolerable.
- A minor chastising of myself for leaving that shoulder open. I should have thought to change the back to the shoulder closest to the railing I was holding, but yeah, I’m only human.
This is now the third time, I’ve been mugged in thirty years. The last time was nearly twenty years ago. This is the first time nothing was taken. As I was explaining why I was limping to a co-worker, he responded I was rather calm about it all things considered. I admit was fuming something fierce last night, but I was also in too much pain to do anything but take pills and go to bed. Having had a night’s sleep, I honestly see it as one part Karma paying me back and part a sign of the times of the economy, that these types of up close and personal robberies are making a comeback. Another taste of how my neighborhood is declining and there is nothing I can do about it. At least none that I’ve thought of yet.
Key word – yet.