I keep making up stories about your life. It helps me calm down.
Because, when I first realized what happened, I was angry.
But can you blame me? I mean, you took away one of the few connections I had to safety during my commute home.
Not that I necessarily feel unsafe traveling home.
But, at the same time, in that moment when I woke up and felt the emptiness in my hand where my phone had been, I suddenly felt like everyone on that 6 train was staring at me. They weren’t sympathetic looks either but strange, lewd, and leering faces.
You probably think I sound extreme – I do have hyperbolic tendencies. It’s not like a phone has a magic power that can keep me safe. There isn’t an app for that. But knowing I had a link to another person who cared for me kept me feeling like nothing bad could happen to me.
When I got home, my anger turned into vulnerability. You came up to me, when I was asleep*, you placed yourself in my space, and you touched me. You had to have touched me in order to get my phone.
After a shower, a trip to the police station, and a long shift at the restaurant, I calmed myself down.
I sat down and I did what I do best: told myself stories. Because, the way I see it, something must have gone wrong in your life in order for you to steal my phone. What life have you led? Where have you lived? Who hurt you? Who made you happy? What was your favorite subject in high school? Were you more of a McDreamy or a McSteamy fan? McDonalds or Wendys?
And as I created your image in my mind, I hated you less. I came to realize that you probably had good reason to do what you did. Or a bad reason to do what you did. Life isn’t something that simply makes sense – if it made sense then there’d be many more boring parts to it.
I wish I could say that if you had simply asked me for my phone that I’d have handed it over because I would have instantly recognized your deep need for it. I wish I could say that I was nice enough to be that quick with kindness. I wish I could say you had approached me when I was alert. I wish I could say that you had given me that option to hand the phone to you.
But you didn’t and life has moved on.
Again, I don’t know you but after molding you in my head, I can soundly say that I hope you get where you need to be (or a little closer) to where you are trying to get to in life using my phone.
All my best,
*Don’t fall asleep on the subway. Not just for the obvious safety infringements but also because people will go on to tell you how stupid it was to fall asleep every time you tell the tale.