Dear Blog Reader,
This post is not really funny. If you like it better when I am funny (or at least intermittently chuckle-worthy), skip this one. If you’re up for the bad poetry and more serious reflections, you will probably find this interesting if not enjoyable.
K great thanks,
There’s a moment when you’re walking by someone and you realize that they’re about to rob you.
At least, that’s my theory. When I was in high school, my AP Government teacher told us that intuition is vastly underrated. She was telling us that sometimes the ghosts of our pasts would haunt us and cause us to mis-intuit, but instinct is nothing to scorn. Our brain is a little black box with all sorts of quirky habits and devices, but it gets the job done.
The first two definitions of fear (n.) in the OED are “1. In OE.: A sudden and terrible event; peril” and “2. a. The emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil.” The imagination will trap the mind with this sensation; danger, evil, doom. It’s like a cramp in your calf; the only thing to do is to wait it out, massage and meditate. Ms. Copley believed in heeding your fears first and analyzing later. I have a feeling the imagination is intricately interlaced with intuition.
I’m not sure how to pinpoint the moment exactly, when you realize you’re about to get robbed. Trauma makes memory flashy, not like a normal conversation that flows and ebbs in your mind but stays always coherent. I remember walking, not looking (it’s just better not to look at people on the street too much) and then, the moment when she looked awkward and shabby and her hands were ready, like a boxer’s. I remember when I looked at her. I don’t remember realizing “I’m in trouble,” but the thought did cross my mind. Then I thought she was stabbing me. I don’t remember when my back hit the wall. I don’t remember peeing my pants. But I remember noticing a warm, unidentified, fear feeling all in my legs. Then it was cold.
The first physical definition of apprehension in the OED is “1. The action of laying hold of or seizing (physically); prehension, grasping.” My word here is realization. The sixth and seventh definitions, classified as mental, are “6. The action of ‘feeling’ anything emotionally; sensitiveness or sensibility to; sympathetic perception” and “7. The action of grasping with the intellect; the forming of an idea; conception; intellection.” Even having a wild imagination does not prepare you for the moment when your intuition is proved right. And the mind trails behind in these moments, disbelieving.
I shoved my purse into her hands, and my cell phone, saying “Toma, toma! Take it, here, take it,” because I didn’t care about anything in the purse, really. Then I remembered and panicked. I said in English, “Wait, my keys, please…” I heard myself and started over in Spanish. She had already climbed back onto the motorcycle. She looked at her boyfriend, he was driving—I just assumed—and he shrugged. “Dejálas, leave ‘em.” She rummaged through my purse, dug out the keys, reached toward me, placed them in the palm of my hand. I said thank you, gracias, and my eyes took in everything as they sped away. I stood there. I still had the change for the bus in my hand. My hand hurt, but my stomach didn’t.
The second definition of luck in the OED is “2. a. Good fortune; success, prosperity or advantage coming by chance rather than as consequence of merit or effort.” They gave my keys back to me. But I did have to ask. So does it qualify as luck?