Time is important on this post, but because WordPress templates seem to either make you choose between author name or a timestamp – and I went with vanity – I have to manually say when I am writing this. I can feel myself getting annoyed at WordPress again, but that’s just misdirected anger. Misdirected because –
My bag got nicked three hours ago. Me and a friend were in the Spread Eagle in Camden, it was quiet; my bag was wedged between the table leg and the wall. I went to the loo. I left it there. My friend was at the table. At some point, somebody took advantage of a momentary lack of focus while she was writing a text message, went right in front of her and lifted my bag.
This tells us two things about the human brain. First, that it is capable of amazing focus. I have no criticism at all of my friend – we’ve all seen the selective awareness video and missed the moonwalking bear:
I cannot believe that had our positions been reversed, I would have done any better. Second, that the brain is capable of persuading people to do incredibly daring things. I almost have admiration for the bastard who stole my bag. It’s a bit like the guy who walked into our house when I was six years old and only scarpered when he walked in on my Dad in the living room. But please note: I only almost have admiration for the bastard.
I’ve lost my phone (password protected and now shut down; email, Twitter and Facebook passwords changed); purse (£15 in cash, bank cards cancelled and replacements on their way, no fraudulent transactions were made; loyalty and library cards); my travelcard (£12 PAYG); my lovely Japanese-style travelcard holder, a gift; an umbrella, a gift; two books, The Canal by Lee Rourke and Letters from London by Julian Barnes, neither of them mine; bag itself, a favourite; my house keys – forcing me to call everyone I know who has a spare set, a challenge in itself with no phone contacts book (had to log into my email using my friend’s phone), ending with my former catsitter driving out to meet me at 10.30pm, for which she has my undying thanks (Cats At Home, my fellow South-East Londoners. They’re amazing); and the thing that annoys me most of all, a keyring that a friend got me for my 30th birthday, a silver cat that broke off two years ago but the disc remained, a disc that had been engraved “Rachel and Elgar”. I often forget it’s there, but I noticed it again yesterday and it made me smile. It feels like the thief has ripped away one of the few remaining connections I have to my dead cat.
I wasn’t mugged – I know two people (at least) who have been mugged in the last 12 months. I am insured. There’ll be a hefty excess but I think I’ll get a replacement phone soon enough. I am… apart from the keyring, I am not upset. Yet. When I was learning to drive, my Mum took me out for a practice and we got hit from behind by a huge wagon and drag. It heavily damaged the back of the car. I flipped out and screamed and swore at the HGV driver; my Mum stayed calm and did what she needed to do. When she got home, then she started shaking. In the pub, I made the calls I needed to make. I am well capable (you should totally give me a job).
Now, however, I am back at home. I think I need to sit and watch some mindless TV and eat chocolate, and possibly have a little cry. Because if life is, to quote the Doctor, a pile of good things and bad things, my pile of bad things is currently so large that I’m having difficulty seeing over the top of it for a glimpse of the good things. Yes, it was just a stolen bag and nobody got hurt. But why did it have to be now?