I can’t believe I am sending you two sad letters in a row. I apologize and hope for more cheerful news tomorrow.
Yesterday, Auntie Bridgett was robbed at the SideStreet Gallery where she works and shows her art. She was alone in the gallery and a fellow came in and visited for a few minutes, then left.
He came back a little later and said he wanted to buy one of her collage artworks, a wonderful piece called Blue. He said it was a gift for his mom. Bridgett was excited and they chatted about the work.
The man asked that she change the hanger on the picture so it would be easier for his mom to put up. That meant a trip into the back room for hardware. Then he asked for her to gift wrap it. That meant a trip across the gallery.
All this meant that her bag, with her wallet inside, was left by itself behind the counter. When the art was wrapped, the man made an excuse to leave without the art, promising to return soon with his credit card to finish the purchase.
When he left, her wallet was in his pocket. She didn’t notice for a while, but called the police when she did, then spent the evening reporting the theft to all the banks and credit card companies. The fellow had already been charging a great deal of money, but she will not be made to pay for it.
Overall, it looks like she lost a little over two hundred dollars cash (Christmas money) and her favorite Vespa patterned wallet.
But what has been lost for good is a certain level of trust, of faith in the goodness of people. We knew that in Salinas, where we used to live, there were people who would break into houses and take things. I guess we knew there were bad people in Portland, but they were always somewhere else, not in our immediate vicinity. Now we know they can touch us.
A level of innocence that we probably didn’t have any right to is gone. And that is disillusioning.