Down at the Pawn Shop


Someone was robbed and assaulted today. In that order. In fact, two people were robbed and assaulted today. In that order. One of those people being me. Oh, and I found my watch. Briefly. Then it was lost to me again.

I’m very much disconcerted by these series of events. The robbery, the assault, and the brief, fleeting reunion between my coveted watch and myself.

My head hurts. From the assault, you see.

After last week’s unsuccessful attempt at locating my watch at one of the open air markets, after being so inconsiderately distracted by the accident that occurred therein, I went home, melancholy and focused in a way that did not suit my particular philosophical disposition. Still without my watch, still being unable to acutely focus on the tick-tock of my once adorned, always adored timepiece, I found myself concentrating on other things. Trivial, unimportant, impermanent things. For instance, people around me, the news, where I might be in 5 years. No, this did not suit me at all.

I had to find my watch. I had to lose focus.

And so, the next week I decided to pay patronage to a few of the more established and respected businesses in the city. The pawn shops.

I had already set foot in two, maybe three of these stores, and with no such luck at retrieving my watch. This, in itself, did not bother me. The act of going to numerous pawn shops. I like pawn shops. The transitory nature, the desperation, the artificial display of wealth, and the genuine palpability of destitution. None of the objects for sale in a pawn shop every really truly belong to anyone. Else, why would they be in a such a place? This appeals to me on some fundamental level. I can’t say why.

And, as luck would have it, or at least it would appear as such in the moment, I found my watch at the third, maybe fourth, of these pawn shops. It was right there in the display case. There was no mistaking it. It was my watch. I cannot say I was overjoyed or excited or giddy, or any such stupid thing. Relief is perhaps the closest approximation to what I felt in that moment. That’s the best I can do at trying to convey, semantically, what it felt like to be me in that moment. Which is stupid, like being overjoyed or excited or giddy. Trying to convey it.

I had just paid the proprietor and was affixing the watch to my wrist, when I heard the ringing of the little bell above the shop’s front door. Someone else had walked in.

            Naturally, both the proprietor and I turned to see who it was. Such is the ridiculousness of custom and curiosity. This new arrival was wearing a black knit mask with the eye holes and mouth hole cut out. When we noticed him and he noticed us noticing him, he quickly reached into his pocket and withdrew a handgun of some kind, which kind I cannot be sure, nor do I care. It was black.

            The proprietor was told to put his hands in the air. I was told to lie on the ground with my hands on my head. Both directions were shouted in a predictably scripted sort of way. It was all rather bland and uninspired.

The armed man told the proprietor to hand over all of the money in the register and to dump both it and the jewelry into a bag the armed man was holding. He, the proprietor was told to hurry up. I felt like I’d seen this before. Apparently, the shop owner was taking too long, as I heard a dull thud and a cry, as the armed man’s gun connected bluntly with the proprietor’s forehead.

After relieving the shop owner of some cash and jewelry the armed man barked something at me. Can you guess what it was?

And so, I handed over my wallet, even though it was of very little interest or import or advantage to anyone, the contents of my wallet. As I was doing so, however, the armed man noticed my watch. He then shouted another predictable order at me, which I politely declined to submit to.

Even though I should have had more foresight, I admit that now, I did not foresee the next action of the armed man, which, admittedly, is the next logical scene in a sophomoric script.

He hit me in the head with his gun. Hard. I passed out.

When I came to, the police were there. They were asking for a statement. Another order which I politely declined. I simply told them that I saw nothing and that my watch was taken in the robbery.

And so, there you have it. Two people were robbed and assaulted today. In that order. Many other people will be robbed and assaulted tomorrow, only perhaps not in that order. Not that it particularly matters much, I suppose, the order. What matters is that I fear my watch is irrevocably lost.

Only time will tell.



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