Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today was such a wretchedly hot day. Az and I languished in the heat while we waited for Z to get off of school. When he was finally off we ran some errands but I just wanted to head home, where I knew it would be nice and cool under the redwoods. At the last minute I decided to stop at Sunset Beach. It was so incredibly, miserably hot. I figured the kids could just jump in to the water and get refreshed before continuing our drive home. I grabbed the kids' life jackets and the bag of beach toys we always keep in the van and we were on our way.

Z decided that he wanted to go our secret cove, a bit more of a walk but there's never anyone there. The main beach was full of people and big dogs not on their leashes so I consented. When we got to the cove it was empty as always and the kids jumped in. Even I ended up jumping in, despite the fact that I was wearing jeans. We stayed much longer than I had planned, hours. The whole time we were there I was wanting to go home, something felt off, but the kids were enjoying themselves and it was a Friday evening. We had no other plans, why wouldn't we stay?

We've been to the cove many times, and I've always loved how secret and serene it is but this day something just felt off. I found myself feeling a little scared. I just had the feeling something bad was going to happen. The water was particularly stagnant that day, particularly full of nature's debris. I had the feeling that we were going to find a dead body in the water or something, a fear that has never crossed my mind. The few times my legs brushed against large objects in the water I quickly moved away. They were probably just logs, but I didn't care to find out.

A few people passed by through the bushes but I felt how secluded we were. When my sense of unease had finally gotten the best of me I ushered the kids out of the water and we headed back to the van. When we finally came in sight of the van I noticed that my normally dirty windows seemed a bit too clear. "Oh no Z, I didn't leave my windows rolled down did I?!" As we trudged along we continued to discuss the status of my windows. Were they rolled up or not? Z was pretty sure they were, but something looked not quite right.

We finally came close enough for me to see that the passenger side window had been smashed in, and my purse had been stolen. I know better than to leave my purse in the van, but I had left it nonetheless. Nothing else seemed to have been touched, though the thief had found some loose cash I had smashed behind other things on the console. I'm lucky in that this was my first time ever having my purse stolen. Z and I both seem to remember one of my car windows being smashed, but this is the first time there was anything in my van worth taking.

Happily I had accidentally taken my phone down to the water with us in the pocket of my jeans so I still had that, but the beach was out of my phone's reception. A truck across the lot had also been broken into, but their phone had been taken along with everything else so it was some time before I could call the sheriff. A woman leaving the beach let me use her phone and I finally did get a sheriff to the lot so I could file a report. By the time I got home to cancel my bank card almost $800 had been charged on it. Two weeks later I'm still waiting to hear from my bank about whether I'll be getting any of it back.

I'm so glad I forgot my camera at home that day, because no doubt that would have been left in the van too in my mad dash for the cool water. Considering the much greater fears I'd had in the cove having my purse and wallet stolen and my window smashed is a survivable offense but it's still hit me hard and left me feeling vulnerable. I guess I believe in the best in everyone because I was honestly surprised when Z lost his camera and no one turned it into the lost and found and I really did expect my wallet, or at least my ID, to show up in the mail. But of course more than likely some kid is using it to buy him or herself beer.

I knew not to do silly things like leave my purse in the car. Honestly, I barely thought about it because I expect more of people. I was given a lesson, and thankfully it wasn't as painful as it could have been. My purse is going to be glued to my shoulder from now on. I miss my ID. I really liked that ID, the photo was taken during my kick boxing and pilates obsessed days. Almost as much, though, I miss the pencil box my friend brought me back from Japan and the many other things I've collected over the years and that have lived in my various purses. I'd just bought the purse the day before too, damn it.

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