When I started living in Mexico City, I had registered for a writing class in the Centro Historico. One day, I decided to do some homework before class so I went early and found a table at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Madero Street.
The shop was set up so that apart from the windows onto the main street, there were windows that looking into the passageway that cut through the building to empty out into 5 de Mayo Street. I took up a table next to this passageway, with my seat facing the street, the passageway to my right and (stupidly) my bag in the chair in front of me.
I sat writing for a bit when all of a sudden, I heard tapping at the window. There was a man in the passageway who was pointing down towards 5 de Mayo. I looked at him kind of quizzically and just gave up. I had just gone back to my writing when a woman came up from the other side of the shop and said that she had just seen a man take my bag. Apparently, while I was looking down the passageway, that man was trying to distract me from his partner, who came in and lifted my bag. Surely enough, my bag was not there.
The only thing that was of value was my debit card. Without it, I can’t eat, pay rent or live.
“He was wearing a green shirt and went that way. Run! You may just catch him!”
I swear that if it hadn’t been because that woman had said, “Run!” I don’t know if I would have gone after him.
Adrenaline is a funny thing. It makes your thought process accelerate at such a rate. I knew I was looking for a man so I started looking for all the pairs of masculine hands and discarded all thin, feminine hands.
A block and a half down, I found the pair of hand that had my bag. Not thinking that the girl he just pilfered would come running, he was walking slowly, rifling through my bag.
I had organized the plan in my head: I would run over and yank my bag from his hands. But the adrenaline that coursed through me didn’t take into consideration the distance in relation to the speed and I pummeled through the guy, knocking him full onto the floor.
The guy, my bag and all the contents of my bag rolled across the street.
From the ground, he flipped up, took one look at me and ran off. He took nothing.
I was still shaking from the adrenaline rush when I went to class a little later. When I told the others the story, one woman laughed and remarked that the way I was dressed was probably enough to make the guy run.
I was wearing a blue denim jumper dress with black fish nets and red velvet Doc Martins and a navy blue beret.
The woman remarked that I probably needed a large red cape with a big “S” on it to complete the image.