mugged on june 5, 1996
by rebecca eisenberg

a joint ReadMe and Rebecca's Rants effort

I was mugged tonight.

It was about 11 PM, and I was walking home from the gym, and I decided to stop by cyborganic to see if a fax came in for me. So I took Valencia to 15th Street, and walked down the block that is said to be one of the worst in the city, along the side of the projects that lie in between Valencia and Guerrero and 14th and 15th Streets.

It was a beautiful warm night, and tons of people were hanging out outside, and it looked like a few drug deals were being had, but usually no one hassles me. I was wearing my torn up jeans jacket that I bought in high school, and my jogging shorts and my nikes, and my hair was all messy, no make-up -- how the hell could I have looked like a person with money?

I was walking down this one particular block, thinking to myself, "wow, racism is bad." And then I thought about how this block was one of the first things that people warned me about when I moved into my hood, and about how mad at me my ex-SO John would be if he knew I was walking down that street, and how my parents would be pissed, and how really, logically speaking, it was a pretty stupid thing to do to walk down that block. But I met eye contact with one dude who was pretty cute and he smiled at me and I smiled at him and I kept walking, thinking, "well, there are some cute people in the projects."

And I was almost at the end of the block, near where the car wash is, when some skinny hyper dude leapt in front of me and said to me, "Don't move. Don't go anywhere."

I looked at him perplexedly. He was about 5' 9" and weighed maybe 135 pounds, and he did not look like he had a gun, and was not brandishing a knife, and I said, "What?"

And he said, "Don't move. Don't go anywhere. Gimme everything."

I said to him, "Wait, I don't understand."

"Gimme everything!" But he wasn't screaming, and I suspected that he was not armed at all. He tried to keep his right hand in his windbreaker's front pocket, but it looked like he kept forgetting to maintain the mirage.

"Are you mugging me?"

"Yeah, yeah, I am mugging you."

Wow, I thought to myself. I have never been mugged before. This kinda sucks.

"Well, do you have a gun?"

This is the truth, I swear. I am such a gansta.

"Yeah," he said, and shook his hand around a little, from inside the front pocket of his windbreaker. And I was resisting the urge to push his wimp ass aside, when from out of nowhere this other skinny dude come up from behind me and poked what was definitely his finger into my back, and not even that hard.

"Yeah, yeah, give us everything," the second one chimed in.

This was getting pathetic.

I pulled out my wallet, and I said, "OK, ok, you can have my fucking money. But I don't have much of it. And you don't get my cards."

As if I was gonna go to the DMV and wait five hours to get a new drivers' license. I don't think so!

I felt pissed, because I am not exactly rolling in the dough these days, and betrayed, because the cute guy at the beginning of the block let these ugly guys assault me on the end of the block.

But I gave them my cash, which I believe amounted to less than thirty dollars, and told them to go away.

"You have more money than that!" the first one told me.

"I fucking do not" I replied, showing him my empty wallet. "These are business cards of friends of mine."

"Yeah, yeah, okay, okay," he said, and they both ran off.

I walked toward the corner of the block, not even running, turned around, and yelled towards them. "You pathetic losers! You got my money, but you don't have my pride." (Sure it is a cliché, but hell, give me some credit, I did just get mugged!) "You two are the losers for doing that!"

And I walked off.

On the way home, I checked for faxes at cyborganic, as planned, but of course their fax machine was broken. So I trotted home to write this up. A pretty damn good story for less than thirty bucks struck me as a great deal. I felt empowered.

I never thought that being mugged would feel this way. Granted, I didn't have a gun held to my head, like Alicia Silverstone in "Clueless." It felt more like that scene in "L.A. Story," where Steve Martin and company line up at the ATM machine, then hand off a twenty to the dude standing in line with a gun waiting on the other side of the instant teller, saying "Good evening, I am your mugger."

I have read studies that women who fight back when they are raped recover more easily from the situation than women who passively go along with the wishes of their attacker. At this point, I think I could withstand being attacked in a much worse way. Of course, I am not going to seek it out. But I know I will be ready. Being female, I am assaulted by lame losers tossing catcalls on the street all the time; this was just another point on a similar spectrum. As I have been saying all along, people are scum.

And muggers are scummy losers. Go get your own fucking money. I worked hard this morning, consulting, and I felt a true feeling of pride in getting paid $50 an hour for giving my advice. Those losers got paid less than $15 apiece for going up to some blonde white chick and taking her money. Some accomplishment. They didn't even get my fucking coach leather wallet or my credit cards. God they suck.

I don't know if I am going to file a police report. Those lamos have enough problems without needing the cops to go in there and remind them how sad and lacking in dignity they really are.

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Copyright 1996 Rebecca Eisenberg All rights reserved.