I was robbed. On my birthday which I share with my grandfather as I knelt on his grave, my purse was stolen from my car. I tried to chase them in my clogs and the rain but they were gone. My cell phone was in my pocket and I called 911. The thieves, a man and a woman, were caught within 30 minutes at the gas station they always went to after stealing from grieving people to buy their gas, cigarettes and gum. That was their gig, steal from vulnerable people attending funerals or paying respect to deceased loved ones at local cemeteries. A smart gig if you are inclined to think in that direction and have no honor.
My belongings were returned. My purse and most of its contents were soaked from sitting in a dumpster. Just tossed out, as if worthless, were pictures of my kids and the journal I write in now. In a separate Ziploc bag were my debit card, cash and license. These were found in her pocket. The bag had her name on it.
I should have been happy. All’s well that ends well. But days later, I wasn’t ok with it. I was pissed. I googled her name and stared at all of her mug shots from her previous arrests, sinking with the thought that the newest shot probably wouldn’t be her last. I pictured her grubby hands stripping my wallet clean, touching my babies’ pictures. Then I pictured breaking every one of the fingers on those grubby hands. I began to envision alternate endings to the theft. In one scenario I am able to cut in front of their car and with super human strength bust out the windshield and drag them out through it. In another I have a purse full of scorpions and a thief-bone loving guard dog waiting for them in the truck. But instead, the reality was this overwhelming feeling that there was no real justice.
I went home and hit the heavy bag. I pictured her mug shots. I no longer saw the bag; I saw her vacant eyes. I smashed my fist into her face. It didn’t make me feel better to imagine her bloody and beaten, actually it made feel sick. My rage still burned in my gut. But the physical exertion took some of the edge off. I decided I didn’t want to think about it anymore.
I sat down next to my son intent on sinking into TV oblivion. He was watching the news. Someone bombed the Boston Marathon. Three are killed, one a child. My son asked me why someone would do that. At first I wanted to say because people aren’t good. We can’t ever trust them. But how young is too young to start losing your faith in humanity? I struggled to think of the right words to say. Words that wouldn’t breed fear or ignorance. Words that would somehow form in my mind and magically make sense of things I don’t ever want to comprehend. I told him that some people just weren’t right; they just don’t understand what life is about.
We were silent for a few minutes. He rested his head on my shoulder and I kissed him. I changed the channel. I wasn’t sure if he understood what I was trying to say or if I understood either. I hugged him closer and I thought on it some more. Anyone who truly gets what living is, I mean really gets it, couldn’t possibly set out to purposely hurt another. And it hit me. In this thought I found my justice and made my peace. They have to continue to exist, to live filled with their hate and anger, never really connecting to anyone or anything. And I never have to live like them.