Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Theft, Guns, Violence – An Experience

My brother flew up from Oklahoma last Monday night to stay with me for a week and see Boston. Tuesday morning he had a meeting with Noam Chomsky to discuss how modern chemistry and biological molecules may lead to new propaganda techniques that could influence opinions, by altering brain chemistry, far greater than image and sound are capable of alone. He said his meeting went extremely well and that Professor Chomsky had told him to call anytime he wanted to get into any further discussions. This part of the day was the good side of a dichotomy that would later present itself to us.

Later that evening, after a rather interesting discussion about the ideas of democratic socialism, anarco-syndicalism, and capitalism at the People’s Republik bar we took off to get a tour of an old frat-house that had been turned into M.I.T. coop housing with my brother’s friend Dustin. The house was a disaster. There were wires hanging from the stairwell, all of the beds were covered in circuit boards, actually as far as I could tell there were no beds, only hammocks tied between bunks covered in books and computer equipment. Their most prized room in the house was “the closet of porn” which contained mostly gay porn videos and a few Playboys and surprisingly it also contained a lot of physics books. In that closet there was a ladder leading to a hidden “jerk off” room that I decided was not going to be sanitary enough to warrant my intrusion. The nerdy kids living there had obviously never anticipated bringing a girl over for a romantic evening; or at all. Eventually I could no longer stand being around the people and filth so I grabbed my brother and decided to leave.

I was parked on the street behind the coop house, right off of Commonwealth Ave. For a few seconds I fiddled with my keys in order to unlock my car door when all of a sudden a dark form hidden away in my car leaped out the passanger side and almost stopping my heart. My brother yelled. Then at the same moment we noticed this man was running off with my brother’s backpack on, which contained his digital camera (that he had used to take a picture of himself with Noam Chomsky earlier that day) and some other expensive items and some important sentimental books and letters. We both took off running after the man, while screaming obscenities at him. I am a little faster of a runner than my brother and I was closing in on the thief quickly; what I was going to do when I caught him I had no idea. Then, out of pure luck, he accidentally dropped my brother’s backpack but kept running. A rational person would have stopped chasing after him at this point but my car had been broken into, my brother’s stuff stolen, and my adrenaline was running high so the only thought going through my head was, “I need to beat the living hell out of this guy.” With my brother’s help we could have very easily hurt this pudgy, white, drugged-out criminal very badly, and we would have, if he hadn’t stopped and pulled a gun out and aimed it at my chest and screamed, “I’ll fucking kill you!”

I was terrified. My troglodyte-like instincts telling me to injure the offender instantly subsided and the clear rationality induced by an ultimatum of death took over. I quickly stopped running and ducked behind a nearby car, my brother followed suit a little ways back down the alley, and I said the only thing that came to my mind, “Whoa, don’t shoot.” The man then turned again and started running away. I did not follow.

When I got back to my car I found the rear passenger side window smashed out and my car stereo was gone, but other than that everything else seemed to be in working order. As it turns out the thief was a practical man and had put my stereo in my brother’s backpack for concealment or ease of carriage, so at least I got that back.

In the end I was lucky: I did not get shot, my stereo was retrieved, and all of my brother’s belongings were accounted for. There was no need to call the cops.

My brother seemed a little shaken up by the incident but overall he looked okay, and after a phone call to his girlfriend and a Red Hook ESB at my house he was completely fine. This was not the first time I have had a gun pulled on me, although this time I was far more fearful of the situation, so I put the whole thing behind me pretty quick. The worst part is that I have to replace a window now that, after paying off the last huge chunk of credit debt just two days ago, I cannot afford. I hope my insurance covers it, without making me pay the deductible.


christophre said...

man, i'm glad to hear you are alright. this is one fucked up world, that's for sure. obviously, you just get the fuck out of that situation no matter what, but did you think, at the time or after, that he was definitely serious?

Erin said...

Andrew! Ah I am so glad you are ok. Jesus that sounds absolutly awful (and not just the gun part, but the "jerk-off" room as well). Lucky was the best name anyone has ever given you!

Andrew said...

Thanks you guys. But yeah seriously, I should have turned around after he dropped my brother’s backpack but adrenaline and anger made for a complete lack of good judgment. Oh well, at least I got my stereo back and my brother got all his stuff. In the end the only loss was one of my windows. At the time I didn't know what to think I just saw him point a gun at me and I had to take him seriously. I have no idea now if he was serious about shooting me or not but I was not about to take any chance of that then.

Heather said...

Holy Shit! How scary... I'm glad you're ok, Andrew!

Andrew said...

Damn it. This week has really been nothing but a bummer for me: my 20GB iPod was taken out of my backpack while I was working out at the gym. I didn't have a lock for the locker I put my stuff into but I assumed that the med students would respect my stuff. Never assume anyone is good. Always assume everyone is out to get you.

christophre said...

that's the spirit!

faceyboy said...

"out of pure luck, he accidentally dropped my brother’s backpack"... whatever dude. That's what they call a hat-trick. As seen in the opening credits of tommy boy "nice doggy." He was scared of the raging beast behind him and left you a peace offering. Kudos (though next time you should probably take it).