I got mugged. Mugged in my own town just because I ventured out of the house at night in Camden, NJ. Since I haven’t had a car for the last few months I’ve had to walk to the stores. I used to only venture out in the day but things seemed ok at night after a while. As a matter of a fact I’ve been feeling safe in my neighborhood for weeks. It only took me a year.
I was walking to the store in the main square in Fairview village section of Camden and I had a guy start talking to me like he knew me. He mentioned something about quitting drinking and I thought he knew me. It’s a little blurry right now. He followed me talking to me and had my hand in my pocket clutching my money out of habit. He reached in my pocket pulling my hand and the money out. He told me he had a gun so I better give it up. I wouldn’t let go of my money as he pulled it from my hand. We struggled. It was all I had and I tried. I got hit and thrown to the ground and banged my head on the ground and my glasses bounced off and I didn’t even realize it. I still tried to get my money back. He finally got away and wanted me to follow him to give me some money back. I walked off and realized I lost my glasses. Luckily, I found them intact. Unlike my sense of security in my own neighborhood.
Just when I was getting used to not driving and walking the neighborhood and felt safe after living here over a year. It only took 2 months to get mugged and fear my own street. I’m lucky to be alive. He could have had the gun he threatened me with. I’m lucky I didn’t have a heart attack. I’m lucky I didn’t get hurt besides a cut on my hand.
I’m a lover not a fighter. At this point I’m not either but you get it. I got it. I don’t have it. I’m not a violent person. I fear it. I’m rarely an angry person. I don’t fear it. I have been pissed off since the shock and fear subsided. Anger whenever I think about it. You know how it goes. I replay the event in my head and think I should have done this and could have done that. If only I didn’t go out.
When I moved in my landlord (also my friend and next door neighbor) warned me not to walk the neighborhood at night. He said he doesn’t go anywhere without a car. “Stay on the road. Stay off the moors” like David and Jack were warned in the movie An American Werewolf in London. Instead of a werewolf it was another type of animal that preys on anyone that looks off guard. I was off guard. I was comfortable in my own neighborhood. It doesn’t sit right that I have to keep my guard up all of the time now. I thought about buying a gun (if I could afford it) but I’ll stick with pepper spray.
Life goes on and I’ll deal with it one day at a time. I’m sure the fear and anger will pass. As long as I try and learn from it and move on. I can take comfort in knowing that the mugger’s life is worse than anything I could wish on him.