I am interrupting the usual part 2 of yesterday's post. There has been a slight change of agenda. Tonight violence came home to someone very close to me. We all know the statistics and TV news keeps us WELL informed as to what awful things are happening around our neighborhoods, cities and nation.
Tonight those abstracts became reality as TOBY was mugged in the parking lot of a discount store on his way home. TOBY is not a small person (6'4") and was completely surprised by the method and attack. Unfortunately, it's a parking lot that has had trouble before - and STILL is basically unlit at night. He was on the sidewalk and was pushed through the bushes lining the lot. The three ______ (insert your own inappropriate words here) were on top of him in moments. He had his wallet taken and his backpack as well. The wallet was found at the end of the lot, the backpack almost two blocks away. Fortunately, he was not hurt in any physical way. He was very shaken and, not surprisingly, very frightened. He was trying to catch the last bus and felt he was in a "safe" area of town.
He was able to call a friend that lived close by - and he helped him find his wallet, backpack and call the police. He also helped him through the initial reaction to all that had happened.
To say that he is/was scared is an understatement. And I know that fear only too well. His description to me of what happened brought a not very welcome flood of memories back to me.
As I told TOBY as we were talking, he can be thankful his wasn't physical. The money and "stuff" could be replaced - the memories and nightmares will eventually fade. When physical violence gets involved, there's a lot more that has to be dealt with. And continue to be dealt with. I'm not going to go into my stories this evening.
I was sorry I wasn't there for the police. Their reaction was, frankly and sadly, quite typical - "You can file a report if you want, but the chances of anything happening are very slim." (translation: we really don't want to do the paperwork involved.) Had I been there - it would have been filed - if for no other reason to continue to highlight the problems with this particular parking lot. As this had never happened to him (or his friend) before, he agreed with the police.
This being TOBY's first day at his new job certainly put a damper on any feelings of joy and excitement he had. Perhaps over coffee tomorrow morning he will gain some of that excitement back.
Until it's time to catch a bus.