Sunday, May 31, 2015

To The Thief at Karibu Fair


Dear Lady Thief Who Stole My Wallet Yesterday

Did you come to Karibu Fair to steal on purpose? Are you working for someone or do you steal for a living? Well. It seems the Universe conspired that the two of us should cross paths.  We had our photograph taken together by the man who owned the shop. Fond memories. I was being euphoric. Kind. Filled with love for humanity. I smiled at you. We spoke. You said you liked the stool I was buying. We exchanged little pleasantries. You had a pretty face. Forgettable but pretty, with braids. Did you spy the bundle of cash in my wallet as I paid for the stool? I was pleased that I was supporting the recycling of plastic bottles which choke our oceans, rivers and planet. 

That big bundle of cash left in my wallet was, you nasty thief, wages for people who do an honest day's work, unlike yourself. I don't care how fucking desperate you are, stealing is unacceptable and I hope you rot in hell. We've got your photograph. I am going to put it in The Arusha Times. Stupid you. I lay in bed last night imagining how your hand slid slyly into my bag without me knowing, as I smiled bravely into the camera. It was only the lady from Air Mauritius, in the next door booth, who saw you standing behind me, doing your thing, reluctant to stand next to me. I thought you were being shy around strangers. But no, instead you were stealing my wallet. And you had the gall to stay for the photograph smiling like an innocent. 

You wore a tie dye dress, a black leather jacket, with a red maasai shawl and red shoes...I remember those little red shoes. I imagine you had to move swiftly in them, but not so swiftly that you'd draw attention to yourself from KK Security guards. They have your photograph now. We reckoned you'd already escaped but we also reckon folks like you will be back at the Trade Fair today. For more. 

Did you hide my wallet under your shawl. I wonder when you opened it...? At the road? In the taxi? Have you kept it? Did you throw it away? I imagine your thieving fingers going through my private papers - the love letter I have carried around with me forever, the children's photographs, my passport photographs, all the details to my bank account. And cash. A lot of cash. Godwin's wages. I told him this morning what had happened. I think he wished death upon you... I think....

You didn't only steal bits of my life, but you also stole my sleep and sense of well being. You're a rotten person. I didn't deserve this. I am still trying to work out the lesson here. Why me? Is it to learn to let go? Again? That old chestnut? Is it to experience a vacuum and have faith that vacuums are unnatural and will be filled? Again? Why do I need to be vigilant ALL the time in this godforsaken town? Why do we have to watch our bags, watch our backs, watch our wallets and our phones ad nauseum? Is it like this in the rest of the world or only here?  It's really really tiresome and terribly depressing. I know I should walk away from this little event with forgiveness in my heart and a world of compassion for you. I find it very very difficult to conjure up any good feelings towards you. 

So. I shall be even more of a hermit than ever before. It isn't a nice world down there, off this hill. 
That's it. I shall stay here, write and make music. And plant strawberries. And try to forget about you. It's difficult. I feel inextricably tied to you.

Yours sincerely
JD The Lady From Whom You Stole 


donna baker said...

Unbelievable. I couldn't just chalk it up to experience. I would have gone looking for her. I remember seeing wallets lying around in Rome at the train stations.

Amanda Summer said...

That fucking sucks Janelle. I hope they catch her and get your wallet - and especially that love letter - back.

reddirtlattes said...

Yes, I have one these. I still imagine, 3 years later, where my heirlooms are, who is wearing the one-of-a-kind ring I had made to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. Dear sirs, does it still shine?

Family Affairs said...

That is really sad. Sorry you feel like that - rest assured London is just as bad....don't take it personally - it's not worth it.....someone I know was mugged the other day and it was way worse...