Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It Feels Bad

The following is Tori's (Mad Sally's) response to last week's mugging of our daughters.

So much has happened.

We found a place to live, I got a job teaching at the Manor School and I saw a giant manta ray while snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea.

But I feel so bad.

As my girls, Kate Millie and Alex were walking to the corner store to get a candy bar around 7:30 pm, they were accosted by a street punk on a bike. He held a gun to my sweet Millie’s head and said, “Give me your fucking money!”

The girls were dumbfounded. They were only a block away and it was barely dark out.

He grabbed Millie’s purse off her shoulder, which had a total of 22 dollars, her sunglasses, the book she was reading (it was an old copy of “The World According to Garp.” If it had been the new Stephanie Meyer’s book, “Breaking Dawn,” I am certain she would not have given up her purse without a fight) and some irreplaceable pictures of her best friends. The little bastard didn’t take Kate or Alex’s purses, although he snarled at them like an animal and moved toward them as if he were going to strike, but backed off and rode away at the last second.

We filed a police report and the girls looked at some mug shots at the St. Croix police station, but they’ll most likely never catch him.

I don’t even want to think about what could have happened, so I won’t. I can’t. It tears me up inside when my mind goes there. I am so thankful that my girls are okay. Shook up and jumpy, but otherwise fine. I just feel angry that this happened at all. I feel ashamed that I wasn’t there to protect them. I feel intense rage that some little punk-ass bitch is running around with a gun in my neighborhood terrorizing little girls and fucking with my family.

And I feel terrible that my paradise has been sullied. Suddenly the roosters that crow at midnight are no longer endearing. They annoy me. All those mosquito bites I have endured laughingly suddenly burn and itch like never before. And the lightning storms which were beautiful and powerful a few days ago are today scary.

I know with time we will forget about it, as we should. While I want to put it on the back burner of bad memories, I want to remember the lesson: Never be complacent about my family’s safety ever again. We now lock our gates up tight at dark. Today I bought pepper spray for all the girls. Tomorrow we will look up self-defense classes and over the next few months and years, we will learn how and when to fight back.

The girls did everything they were supposed to do. Don’t engage, just give them the money. But should they ever need to defend the thing that really matters, I want them as prepared as they can be. I don’t like feeling helpless and I don’t want my family living in fear. Ever. So rusty cutlasses and fake powder pistols aside, we will do something real about it. I’m not just going to sit around and hope and pray it never happens again. And I am not so vain to believe that having a little pirate in me is enough to protect me and mine. Being a pirate does, however, spur me into action and keep me from cowering in the dark. If we are ready for it, it will never happen again.


Reed said...

I find myself having some very violent daydreams about what I would like to do with a certain young bicycle thug... :(

I am SO SORRY some idiot had to rob you of your paradise... I hope you manage to regain it, in time...

Robert Cockroach Blair said...

The reality of things....someone once said, "It isn't what happens to you. It's what you do about it."
Processing the anger, sense of violation, helplessness, fear....all are important, but sometimes people end there...I am glad to see that you don't remain the victim for very long. Taking precautions and measures to improve your response capabilities are wise....emotional preparations are wise, too. Paradise is a state of mind...so is serenity. Take it one step at a time and I'll put in a word with HP for ya....
ps...give the girls a hug and smile from the Cockroach...it happens, kids....what doesn't kill you will make you stronger (yeah, I hated those words, too....but, they are truth)

Miranda said...

Holy crap! I'm so glad the girls are OK. What a lousy thing to happen. Remember, it could just as easily have happened in Albany (apparently there's a huge gang problem here, which I hadn't known about until recently). Be safe, be careful, but don't let it run your life. Hugs!!

Democra-She said...

We had friends who moved to St Croix. They decided to move to St. John after a year. I'm sorry you have been introduced to the tensions in St. Croix in this way, but read the police blotter from the USVI papers' websites, for example the section called "Police Reports" in http://www.u.s.virginislandsdailynews.com ... It's paradise, yes, but the "piracy" is on land, real, and stupidly destructive. Your daughters will have to take the same precautions in St. Croix or St. Thomas at night that they would have had to take in New York City in the 1970s -- NYC is safer than St. Thomas or St. Croix at night now, in terms of street crime in the heart of the city. Which is sad. Please, especially avoid allowing them to take a taxi that they just pick up outside bars or restaurants; there have been several unsavory incidents connected to "taxi" pickups and young attractive women.

Dennis said...

On was on St. Croix several years ago to do some horse back riding in the rain forest.

The owner of the horses told me that the only real crime on the island was Horse Stealing and Murder.

It appears that the local police profit from the horse stealing. As the only way to get the horses off the island would be under the law enforcements nose.

Anyway, I am happy everyone survived the ordeal.

Catarina said...

As St. Croix is my home and often the police stations are in the worst areas. If you are close to Manor, there are a couple projects in the area which are notoriously dangerous to be around at night. Be careful and be smart. Also, as a rule if your girls go out...make sure they are out of town by 2 am. Nothing good happens after that.