Priorities

Sometimes I think that I think too much about how and why I think the things I do.

I blame my counselor training. When very emotional, for whatever reason, my thinking has fallacies. I am aware of that now. You might notice I didn’t say anyone else’s thinking might be affected when they get emotional. These are all “I” statements. That is another handy counseling trick that I use on myself.

Anyhow…

Stronger emotions affect my thinking disproportionately more. Always have, always will. And of course my thinking affects my behavior. And my behavior affects other people, causing emotions in them. And so the cycle continues on.

How others react to me is out of my control, but I will own it all the way up through my behavior. By then though, others are reacting to me and I am already off on the next spin of an accelerating merry-go-round of my own feel/react ride.

It is supposed to be feel/think/react.

I have found that I don’t catch it early enough to change my thinking somewhere in there, my resulting behavior, reacting to chemicals kicked off by my body to balance whatever made me so emotional in the first place, doesn’t always make me pleasant to others.

I admit it. I am a complete cunt sometimes. At least I try to prevent it when I can, or at least stop it once it becomes known to me, and examine my own mind.

I have learned the true cause is often much different than whatever littler thing I think it is at the time, as is the proper recipient of my words and actions.

There wasn’t time enough today for thinking though. I was beyond overly emotional, or so I thought at the time, but I knew the cause. Little did I know that it was just the start. And the proper recipient was right in front of me. I don’t think anyone would have blamed me at all for being angry and unpleasant toward him. Especially him.

Maybe I should start at the beginning now, huh?


I had woken up very early. I could’t get back to sleep. I was upset about misplacing my phone yesterday. It isn’t the greatest phone, but it is a smartphone and I call it my brain. Now that I’ve become used to internet 24/7/365 I depend on it to function. I don’t even know anyone’s phone number by heart anymore, except my own. The buzz of messages is often comforting. And how would anyone call me for that second interview if I can’t find it?

And what if someone picks it up and opens up my photo gallery…

I decided to go back look through my truck one more time. It either had to be there or at the warehouse. I had searched both several times already. Very quietly I emptied it and searched everywhere. It was only 5:00 am and I didn’t want to wake anyone. Once again I was disappointed to not find it.

By then Sir was up. I told him I was going to look through the warehouse one more time before returning home. I wanted to get there before other people showed up and moved anything else around.

I considered putting on my jacket, but the bathrobe I had on was very warm, and the warehouse would be very cold. So off I went to crawl around on concrete floors and move heavy things. Again.

Of course it was *that* important to find. It is my phone. I NEED it.

I didn’t see any other cars there, but I knew I wouldn’t. I jumped out and keyed in the building code. I hoped I would find it quickly. A big, cold, dark warehouse isn’t where I really wanted to be alone for very long.

I closed the door behind me and went in. The automatic lights kept me company, following me, as I methodically searched any place it could have fallen. My tablet made a good flashlight for under the shelving between the aisles. I looked again. And again. It was about 6:15. I had looked for an hour. So far.

I considered giving up, then decided I would go smoke a cigarette instead. I knew I’d probably come right back in and look more. I went out and got into my truck. I reached over on the seat for my purse. It wasn’t there. I flipped on the cab light. It must have fallen to the floorboard. Nope. Did I knock it out onto the ground like I probably had to my phone? Dammit. I opened the door to go around and look when I suddenly realized that wasn’t possible. The passenger door had not been opened since I got in.

I was half in and half out when another, alien thought occurred to me. I turned my head and looked behind the seat. Yup. My laptop was gone. And my visors were down. I had been robbed.

I hadn’t locked my door because it wasn’t necessary. There was no one around. And it’s an island. No one locks their doors. It is one of those few lovely remaining safe places. I had left everything out in plain view there hundreds of times before, and no one would ever think to steal anything.

At this point, I realized a few things. It was dark. I had no phone. No one had come by a warehouse just randomly looking for a car to break into at 6 am. And that, most likely, I was not really alone.

I had woken someone up that did not belong there.

One smart thing to do would be to put my butt back on that seat, lock my doors, and drive away. Another would be to quickly enter the warehouse code and lock myself inside, trying to find a phone to call the police. I did sit back down, lock my door, and send out a frustrated tweet. Then I tried to contact Sir the only way I could to see if he could send help, but he had gone back to sleep.

I just wanted to cry. As if losing the phone wasn’t bad enough, now I couldn’t access my money. I couldn’t cash my paycheck. I had years of work on that laptop. It couldn’t be replaced. (At least, unlike my phone, the porn of me was password protected.) Even my njoy Eleven was in there too. And so much more.

I couldn’t even have that cigarette that I so desperately needed when I only *thought* I was having a bad day a few minutes earlier…

I tried to figure out what to do. Feel/think/react remember? I knew I was in a dangerous situation. No matter what I felt, the obvious and only answer was for my physical safety.

But it was my purse. It was *important*. I wanted it back. I NEED it.

I got out of the truck. I stood there, alone in the dark, listening, trying to sense if he was still there. I could feel someone nearby, and knew then without a doubt I was not alone. I started walking around slowly, looking behind bushes, hoping to find at least something discarded by the thief.

And then I started talking to him.

I did raise my voice so it would carry, but I was not yelling. “Can I have my purse back? Please? I do not care about the money. Really. I just want back the stuff that is no good to you.” I continued walking around, asking nicely for my things, getting further and further from my truck, until I went around the corner of the building toward the dumpster.

warehouse2

My heart was pounding. I was sure he would be there waiting for me. There was nothing there but an empty dumpster. I was somewhat relieved, but my hopes of getting even one thing back vanished. I decided to head back to my truck.

As soon as I turned the corner I saw him.

He was standing right next to my truck. He was NOT holding my purse. And I was effectively trapped. There was no time to think. And my reactions would affect his. I was afraid, but still had hope. I began to talk to him again. He stood there looking at me.

I must have looked pathetic in my bathrobe, all alone, saying “Please sir…” He started to walk away. I wondered then if I had startled him, and called to him reassuringly walking more quickly toward him. I still wanted my purse.

It didn’t cross my mind yet that, if he had no reason to come out, and I had nothing left to steal, he might have come back for me.

“Your purse is over here,” he said, continuing to walk away. I picked up my pace. He headed out of the parking lot toward another warehouse.

I was having a hard time keeping up. He was moving so fast. And he kept walking, not letting me catch up.  We walked past the second warehouse and crossed the street. He started down a gravel road. It was too far.

road2

I called to him to stop.

“It is just down here. Are you coming or not?” he asked. He did not stop. I realized he was not behaving completely rationally (as if I was in any position to judge right then). I knew he was on something.

I wanted to stop. I wanted to go get my truck and follow him. I wanted to just leave. But I wanted my purse. If knew I didn’t follow then, he would disappear. So I followed.

He continued walking.

I know it was not that far, but it felt like we had walked miles already. I couldn’t see anything. Now I didn’t even have my truck. He turned off the road into a field. I hesitated, but followed.

All of my alarms were going off, understandably.

He hadn’t come back because he had heard me. This was too far. Even if someone had been at the warehouse, they wouldn’t have heard me yelling from this field. No one knew where I was. I had no safety backup. I was with a junkie that had stolen from me. And when he had returned, I knew now he had no intention to give me my things or attempt stealing more from me.

Oh shit.

He stopped. I stopped even though I could have finally caught up and maybe even seen his face. I could barely see his silhouette. We were maybe ten feet apart.

I took one step back in terror. I cursed myself inside. Don’t fucking show weakness NOW you dumb slut!

I forced myself to stand still and simply said “Please sir,” one last time.

He did not speak. He did not move. I did not speak. I did not move. That was a very long moment. I waited for him to make whatever decision he was going to make. Then he reached down and picked up something.

It was my purse!

“It is all there. Laptop, wallet, and all,” he said. “I am sorry.”

I walked closer. Even close enough to reach my purse, I could not make out his face. He handed it to me.

“I have a flashlight if you would like to make sure,” he offered.

“No. Thank you. This is wonderful.” I could feel the shaking beginning. My tough, yet kind front was failing. I had my things and turned to hurry back. But then I stopped again.

“May I please give you a hug?”

He seemed very genuinely surprised. “Um… ok?”

I walked right back up to the man that had just stolen from me, and had returned to possibly hurt me, and gave him a huge squishy hug.

I said “I hope karma pays you back for this. Thank you again,” as I stumbled my way back to the gravel road.

He didn’t say another word.

I did not look back.


The entire thing only took fifteen minutes from when I noticed I had been robbed until I returned with my things. It took another thirty minutes before the shaking subsided enough to attempt driving.

Somehow now my missing phone doesn’t seem like the worst thing that could happen. Or a stolen purse. I could have lost *so much more* than just my faith in humanity.

I am glad he gave that back too.

Today again strengthens my theory that most people are basically good if treated with respect. And sometimes “Please” is the only thing to say. This is not the first time being kind has saved my life. (That story of the man with a gun and every intention of shooting me is even longer than this.) I am glad that now it is my default mode. I would hate to think what would have happened, then or now, if I had acted like a bitch…

Some people preach about turning the other cheek…

I just practice it.

important things


 

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6 Responses
  1. Simon says:

    You are a very lucky girl. I love you.

  2. Molly says:

    I read this when you first posted published it. It sent shivers down my side and yet at time made me laugh as it just felt so very you, on the edge, straying into potential danger and yet your gumption for life, for what you need and want, never deserted you. You also terrified me because my Slut Hero is forbidden from getting herself murdered in grizzly circumstances. You clearly missed that memo! *laughs

    Mollyxxx

  3. Miss July says:

    Wow!! This is powerful. It truly gives me shivers and so much more reading it.

    Glad you are okay and that you learned what your priorities are.

    xxx Miss July xxx

  4. Bunny says:

    Wow! How terrifying! Glad you are ok!

  5. Sangsara says:

    Wow. Wow. Your experience isn’t what touches me. Your writing about it does and I am so glad that you chose this as a platform and included those pics. I too come from islands and I know the exact atmosphere that those pictures convey. I can feel your anxiety and your trepidation. Will he? Won’t he? What of the unknown? Beautiful Thankyou. Oh and my laptop was stolen 2 weeks ago so I feel your loss – thanx for the reminder that I could have lost so much more.