45 minutes after I posted the last and “final” blog, I was mugged. Consequently I have no choice but to write another entry. After all, a mugging is a story to be told. Hell, if I can write about the most mundane of topics like my father’s Christmas card, or my friend’s friend being late for lunch then I must write this.
Unfortunately I’ve ruined it now by telling the end as my style is usually to go back in time and make the past the present to create at least a bit of suspense, but here I go anyway …
I switch my laptop off and close it. It’s 1pm and time to get on with my day. Baking a cake is on my list of activities, but I need eggs. I could also do with some other basics, inclusive of toilet paper. With only £10 in my pocket I trot to the local shop liberated by the absence of my usual possessions; my iPhone, my iPod and my purse. Just me, my keys, £10 and a bag to carry home my shopping.
Balvinder the local shopkeeper and I exchange our usual pleasantries. With the purchased items in my bag I commence the short journey home: I’ve a cake that needs baking.
The bag is in my right hand and my left hand is in my coat pocket, holding my keys. I hear someone walking behind me and glance back to see a tall young man. He’s walking faster than me so I move closer to the brick bridge on my left to let him pass.
I certainly didn’t anticipate him using his body weight to shove me against the bridge and slam my head into the bricks. No sirree, I did not.
He takes the bag from my right hand and steps back.
Him (murmuring something in unclear English that sounded like …) : Got any money?
Me: No, nothing. Just my keys.
I pull my keys out of my pocket and show him.
It’s a strangely calm and understated moment as I realise he’s more tense than me. I guess I know what he’s going to do/has done (mug me) whereas he doesn’t know what I might do. Fear of the unknown is always powerful.
He steps forward and quickly pats my coat pockets. I stand still, looking at him. He turns and walks away – the same direction he’d come from. And that was it. Entirely undramatic.
Mum once said that no one would ever attack me “Look at her. Would you take her on?!” It turns out that a 6’2” Eastern European lad would.
I’m strangely happy. Of all the times to be mugged it’s the one time I leave my flat with absolutely no items of value. I don’t have to waste my time cancelling credit cards or calling a locksmith. I’m very lucky – he’ll be a disappointed mugger when he discovers his grand haul consists of eggs, toilet paper and a bottle of squash.
I continue home, grab my stuff and walk to the police station to report the crime. They suggest I go to the hospital to check out the lump on my head, but that seems like overkill. Instead of wasting the rest of my day in A&E, I jump on a bus to Shepherd’s Bush to see a movie. After watching (the coincidentally fitting) “Seven Psychopaths” I get the tube home, eat my dinner, watch TV and go to bed. I’m convinced I find the intricacies of mundane life more interesting than allegedly “genuine drama”.
It’s the second time I’ve been mugged in London, though admittedly the first time with a degree of violence. But I’m fine, totally fine. I wouldn’t write this post if I was traumatised. I’ve decided simply to view this incident as the cosmos telling me to keep writing. Though one friend commented that maybe I should view it as a message to stop making cakes.
Most of my friends are shocked that someone selected me to mug. One remarked that he sees me as more of a mugger than a muggee. I’m starting to think that I may have to do some defriending in 2013 …
Eek! It’s never a pleasant experience, but I do marvel at your calmness. I hope things are well otherwise :-). By the way, I also hope you take this as a sign that you should keep writing and NOT stop making cakes!
No, it’s not a pleasant experience. I remember your mugging story too – not good. I’m not sure I know of anyone who’s lived here a long time and not been mugged.
I vow to keep writing AND making cakes!
I am really shocked to read about your mugging. You ok?
You say that you felt compelled to write about it because it’s a bigger story than ‘mundane’ events like your friends’ friend being late for lunch, or your father’s Christmas card. I thank you for sharing all these but what you are saying is not true!
It certainly is an important story. And it really makes me angry and worried about you. But it is precisely these sorts of ‘mundane’ events that separate you from him. As a juxtaposition, you have something very precious to hold on to. You have the memories of ‘mundane’ things and a cake in-potentia, both of which are wonderful. He has your toilet paper. Another sh*t day for him then!
I am completely okay, thanks “Mr Squiggle” 😉 I certainly do have plenty of mundane things, and even more memories of mundane things 🙂 And I’m going to get back to cake-baking this weekend!
As for the toilet paper, well I think the discovery of the lack of worth from his thievery will definitely have made him shitty 🙂
Simone, I am glad to hear that you weren’t hurt too much physically. I am amazed you can be so calm about it. Maybe it’s because it was not your first ‘mugging experience’. That is truly horrible. I don’t know what I would do in that circumstance, does it enter your mind at all about giving a quick kick in the privates? It was daylight, did anybody see this happen, or come to your aid afterwards? Or is minding one’s own business the thing to do?
Thanks Maddie. My other mugging was more of a pick-pocketing than a mugging. Someone grabbed my purse out of my handbag as I was hopping off the bus in Portobello Road (this was fourteen years ago when I lived there). I grabbed the guy who I thought it was and “demanded” my purse back (I still smile at my confidence). It turned out I had the wrong person and the actual thief was a block away by the time I’d finished my confrontation. I was surprised at how assertively (albeit fruitlessly!) I reacted.
Another time (about ten years ago) a group six lads surrounded me while I was stationary on my Vespa scooter in a quiet side-street (I was making a phone call). They demanded my helmet (they’re really expensive) and I simply said no and stood my ground until they left. That was very tense and I was surprised they backed off as I was sure they were going to steal my scooter.
I guess I’ve become more tranquil in my old age – or cowardly! For some reason I just wasn’t troubled by the incident on Saturday and I have absolutely no explanation for my calmness. Maybe because he’d already “hurt” me I knew that the worst was over.
No pedestrians saw it happen. Loads of cars drove by, but unless they saw the initial shove they wouldn’t have seen anything that looked suspicious. Having said that, no one would have come to my aid regardless. London is renowned for people ignoring attacks – the likelihood of being stabbed is considered too high.