Tuesday, August 25, 2015

We got robbed...

I don't even know if I am allowed to write about this but if I get any second thoughts I'll delete it. I'll try to keep personal details to a minimum.

Basically, in the decade or so we've been living in this neighborhood, someone finally decided to fuck us over and rob us.

Someone smashed one of the windows of our car (a goddamn 2009 Toyota Corolla, not a fucking Porsche) and took off. When my parents got up Monday morning to drive to work, it was gone. They called the night guard, called the tow company that took away one Honda the night before, called the police to figure out what to do, called me to ask where they might have parked the car, or, hell, if best case scenario I took it somewhere without telling them.

After they were told to wait for the police, my dad went upstairs to search for some papers. My mom said she'd wait downstairs for the police.

So I took the stairs down and she was sitting in the steps facing the street, right at the side of our building. When she saw me, she just started crying. So I figured I'd sit next to her but all that amounted to was both of us crying on the sidewalk. Much to the confusion of passing neighbors.

It's not an expensive car. It's scratched up at the side because we've never bothered to paint it, it's not too old, but it's not exactly in mint condition. It's the only car we have, the only one we've managed to pay in full and keep from totally breaking down. Buses in this city are shit and Miami is so big it takes you about an hour, minimum, to get to places in time via public transportation. Mostly, my mom cried because we've been trying to save money to finally buy a house and. . .that's. . .gonna get put on hold. Again. Because something always happens to put that house on hold.

Unless we somehow find the car somewhere--and I doubt we will--we'll have to buy another car and I have no idea if the insurance we have will cover everything for it. So no house.

Again.

After the police came, after we called the insurance, after all that, somewhere around midday, my parents went to work. It took them like two hours minimum to get to their jobs and then took them two hours to get back. They couldn't even afford to take the day off since they'd already asked for vacation time to drive my brother to university and help him move in. (Since that stupid fucking university was so kind to working people; move-in days could not be during the weekend. They had to go during the work week).

After they left to work, I couldn't stop thinking about two things: 1) an old Italian movie called The Bicycle Thieves that's just oh so cheerful and 2) something an ex-boyfriend said to me once--one of the many reasons we broke up. He was one of those fucked up people who sincerely believed society was composed of people who "deserved" to be at the top and slackers who'd done nothing and therefore too "deserved" to be at the bottom. So the world was divided between the leaders and the "sheep." When I took offense at that (not as much as I should have--because I was a naive little girl, still unaware of all the fucked up abusive shit he'd said and done already), he clarified that no, no, my parents aren't sheep, they've just hit a bad spot! But others like us. They totally deserved the shit that comes to them.

I wanted to strangle him. I still want to strangle him. And never did I want to do that more--to him and any other asshole out there who's ever even thought something of the sort--on Monday. Because I realized that as much as my parents suffered out of this, no one will think of them. Not the people who robbed us and have no idea how much we've been relying on that car, not the people who might see them scrambling to get to work the very morning they got robbed, no one really. (08/26 EDIT: Let's add the police to this list, given how they treated my father today.)

Some will try and we'll be thankful for their sympathies (and I do mean that). But most won't bother and others will find reason to judge. My parents are alone in this.

In some ways we are privileged--I went to university. My brother is going to university. We've got a roof over our head and food in the house.

But it hurts. It really hurts to have this happen to us.

When I went to bed Sunday night, I was buzzing with energy. I finished another book. It wasn't perfect; the ending got rushed as all hell, the side characters are in trouble, got a few plot holes, need to tweak the reveals better, must do more research. But I was happy. Writing is this mixed concoction of crying and laughing and getting angry at your own words, but nothing ever compares to the happiness a writer feels when they get that last sentence down in the first draft.

And I went to bed thinking--it's okay. I don't have a job yet, but it's okay. I'm in debt, but it's okay. I don't have anything to query agents, but it's okay. If I can finish this book, I can finish revising and editing the next one. And I can get a novel out there.

But when I sit down to work on that other book, to look up cafes in Chicago or antibiotics needed to treat knife wounds, I feel this overwhelming guilt swelling in my chest. I shouldn't be writing. I shouldn't be researching. Even ten minutes of it is time wasted.I should be looking for more and more jobs, every five minutes, until I can help my family in some way and get out of this pit circumstances just threw us into.

It's not even rock-bottom yet. But I'm so afraid we'll get closer and closer to it some day and I won't have anything to help us out. Instead, all I'll be is dead weight hanging onto them.

I don't know what I'm going to do. And I don't have any good parting words or lessons or "but I'm sure it'll all work out." I'm sure somewhere down the line, however far it may be, things will be fine. But that doesn't negate that this is our life right now and this is what we have to deal with.

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