Sigh! My first pocket-picking.
In Times Square, in a rush through rush hour crowds to meet a friend at a hotel.
A full shopping bag weighing down one hand, my guitar weighing down the other, some tall white guy with greyish crew cut, khaki shorts and white t-shirt smacked hard into my guitar, as he rudely passed me and zoomed through the crowd, knocking me into other people. That is probably when his partner lifted my wallet out of the front left pocket of my cargo shorts.
I was late and kept on going. I got to the hotel, texted I was in the lobby. Ordered an ice coffee and found I had no wallet.
The ATM and credit card were cancelled immediately without incident. But I lost my various IDs, (love that NYC DMV experience) and less than $100.
So, my college chum paid for dinner and loaned me subway fare to get home before she went to the theater.
It All Came Back To Me
I take solace in the fact my guitar was not harmed, which of course was my only concern in those 10 seconds of confusion when it all went down.
But I also take solace in an experience that happened to an old friend, just a few blocks away, a few years ago.
The guy who fixed the printers in the law firm I worked at was staggering drunk as he left me after the Xmas Party at the Roosevelt hotel.
A balding, older man who walked with a stoop, and looked like he was wearing the comic “funny nose, glasses and mustache,” he was an easy mark for the three toughs who jumped him from behind.
When the police arrived he was sitting on one of them. Another was comatose in a heap. The third had gotten away, but was arrested later at a hospital.
My friend was suffering from a torn shirt pocket and lack of cigarettes.
He told me he had no real memory of the incident, other than the fact that when the first one wrapped an arm around his throat from behind, “It all came back to me…” and he was suddenly in 1970, a Green Beret behind enemy lines in Cambodia, as a late member of the Viet Cong attempted the same tactic.
The cops gave him a cigarette and found a safety pin at the station for his torn pocket.
I must admit, for all my pacifist, humanist leanings, it is nice to know that at least somewhere, sometime, some lowlife morons choose the wrong target to victimize.