Friday, December 19, 2008

shaken, not stirred

Last night I experienced my most unique, and also unwanted stories I have ever collected. While traveling home on the train, I was robbed at gunpoint. Although the robbers only took my wallet and Zune, and the Zune was recovered when one of the suspects was arrested by the police shortly after the robbery, I had to spend almost 8 full hours identifying the suspects, filing reports, waiting for the state attorney to arrive, and then making another statement. Perhaps if I went to bed right now, rather than staying up to write this post, I might have a much more flippant or jocular take on tonight's events. As it is, however, I can't help but feel immensely lucky and maudlin in my gratitude for almost everything in my life.

For as much as I like to complain and whine about the way things are in this world, I cannot imagine loving my life any more than I do. Fear of death probably always reminds people just how much they owe to the people and organizations they love. I am no exception to this. If I haven't told you just how much I love and appreciate you all lately, shame on me.

I am pained to tears that 3 people felt that the best possible use of their time and energies would be to take and gun onto the red line and try and make their own luck. Before any of you judge these people too harshly, try and imagine how much of your own life would need to be stripped away before you would seriously consider such an option to be your best possible choice. With a gun to my chest, I realized just how much I had to lose, and how little the robbers probably felt they had to lose. These individuals are ultimately responsible for their own actions (probably to the tune of 5 years in prison, to be exact), but I cannot help but feel sad and a bit ashamed that society has left these people with such bad options. When the choices I make revolve around whether to study for a few extra hours or to watch a Tarkovski film from Netflix, there's a pretty stark difference between the life opportunities and paths afforded to me versus what was afforded them.

I am grateful for a relatively just and responsive society. When I called 911 after the robbers left the train, I was expecting my story to be filed under the crime statistics and a half-hearted search effort to be made in a few days. Instead, a dozen police responded within minutes and two out of the three suspects were arrested within half an hour of my call. They say that there are no atheists in foxholes. I would submit that there are no Lockeans in police stations; society and how we get along matters a whole lot when civility breaks down and crimes are committed.

My sleepiness is starting to overwhelm my emotions and excitement, so I will end this here and go get some sleep. I plan on returning to my normal, philosophical, sometimes belligerent posts soon. Before I had time to really reflect upon, edit, or even rationalize my thoughts and feelings, however, I felt I should get them down. It normally takes me days or weeks to find the inspiration to write and edit a post for this blog. Today, all it took was a pistol.

11 comments:

direfloyd said...

I'm glad you are alright bud!!! Get some sleep =) If you want someone to talk to about give me a call, if not don't worry about it... but lets talk soon anyway =)

Amanda said...

Wow. I'm so glad you're alright. Hope you got some good rest.

Chris said...

Thank God you're alright brother. Hope some sleep has taken the edge off a bit. Please let me know if I can be of any help.

Petra said...

Wow, let me join in saying the obvious: I'm so glad you're okay!

Amber said...

i'll give you a chance to rest before I call....i'm so glad everything is ok. I also experienced quite the amount of emotions when mom told me what happened. life is precious.

Robert B said...

I love you too Daine. (And I say that without sarcasm or snark)

Mom said...

I'm so glad you're OK. I've been playing phone tag with you but really want to talk about this. Quite frankly, it really freaked me out. Be safe now, use caution and know that I am praying for you. I love your guts.

direfloyd said...

I've been thinking about this as well and I want to put it some sort of perspective from my line of work. On any given day a person is about 1,000,000 times more likely to be injured in a car crash than have any crime happen to you what so ever. Some how society accepts that to a large extent (or don’t realize it) and I try to fix the big problems with such things as roundabouts and get yelled at by the public =) Anyway just another thought I had... I know you like perspective!

Charles said...

I'm glad you're OK, Daine. Like you mentioned, one positive outcome of experiences like these is a recognition of how much you love the people close to you. After our hit-and-run over the summer I had similar feelings.

Seagulljaap said...

I am glad you are okay too my blog-reader. Otherwise, where would I turn for wit?

Garth Aamodt D.C. said...

Ah...city life! Glad they didn't pull that trigger. Your perspective is good. Poverty, education, poor role models may all have some role. But there's less overt crime in 3rd world countries, where poverty and education are far worse. I bet these 3 have a color t.v., cell phones, and a hundred times more than the average Iraqi, or inner-city Bolivian. The moral decay is in my opinion more corrupting than poverty in our country. And much of that is choice as much as circumstance, in my opinion. But the main thing is to get them off the street or the next "Daine" may not walk away to tell about it. Glad you're okay, my friend.