i got mugged tonight.
it's really weird...it almost doesn't feel like anything happened. all i can do is laugh about it, although i know it's not actually funny. but...what else is there to do?
my friend and i went to a concert at the Creepy Crawl tonight. it's not in the worst neighbourhood, but it's not in the best either. it's right near all the swanky theatres, and not too far from SLU...but it's just a block south of Delmar, and near a lot of vacant lots and fairly sketchy things. it's sort of on the fringe between Nice Shiny Midtown and Scary North City.
we left the concert around 11:15 or so, and walked back to the car. we got back to my friend's car, about two blocks from the Creepy...i was on the passenger side of the car, and my friend was on the driver's side. this middle-aged guy was following us, mumbling something, his hand out. i just assumed he was a beggar asking for money, so i shook my head and continued along toward where i was going, the same way i react when any beggar asks me for money.
my alarms went off when he didn't act in the same way as any old beggar. usually, if you shake your head and say "no, sorry," they walk away. not this guy. he kept coming closer. he had one hand out, and the other in his pants pocket. he got up about a foot from me, and said, "i've got a gun. give me all your money, or i'll blow your head off."
i don't know if he really had a gun or not. i didn't notice a bulge, but obviously i wasn't going to test him on the matter. if he was going to shoot me anyway, he was going to shoot me anyway. if he was going to leave me alone if i coughed up the cash...fine. i'll take whatever chance i had to get away from there with my life. i didn't care if he had a gun or not. the threat was more than enough. i gave him all my money, my purse, my cards, everything, looked at my friend on the other side of the car, and implored her to to the same. she tossed her money across the car. the robber took my cash, but gave me my purse and cards back.
[it was weird. when i was giving him all my stuff, i couldn't even think about the gun. i thought it was a foregone conclusion that i would be shot either way, so my brain stayed away from that as a defense mechanism. i was just really not looking forward to cancelling my cards and getting a new ID--probably not the most practical or logical things to be thinking about when my gut feeling was that i was going to be shot, but that's how my brain worked. i was oddly relieved when i got the rest of my stuff back--i was far more concerned about that stuff than i was about the forty bucks in my pocket.]
he then said something about a car. i thought i heard him say "give me the car." my friend thought she heard "get in the car." it was apparently the latter...as we started to get in the car, he was going away from us. we got in the car, my friend locked the door, and she drove away.
she called the police, who arrived soon after. we gave the police officer a description which was radioed to other cars in the area...and within fifteen minutes, they brought over someone they had apprehended in the area who partially fit our description. after getting a good look at him, the guy they brought over was very clearly not the guy who mugged us. so, the policeman gave us a case number and let us go...and the mugger is still at large.
it's so strange. i'm shocked it took me this long to get mugged. i've lived in cities since i was seventeen, and been far more cavalier about safety than i was tonight. tonight, i was with a friend, in a pretty well-lit area, with my wits about me. i wasn't walking around in the dark, alone, completely out of it. but, you can never tell when it's going to happen...it just will, eventually, in a city.
we both left unhurt...he ran off with our money, but he didn't kill either of us, hurt either of us, or even steal anything from us other than our cash. it's hard to say what if any lasting effect this incident will have on me. i'll probably be more careful when i go out. i'll look over my shoulder a lot more, and try not to walk home alone late at night down that sketchy stretch of Delmar near my apartment. i'll be a little more on edge for a while. but, i hope the jumpiness dulls soon...i don't want this to make me scared of going out in the town.