On Friday night we opened our production of â€œThe Laramie Projectâ€. It was an emotional day as the opening coincided with the service to finally inter Matthewâ€™s ashes in the National Cathedral. We were thrilled to be doing our part to keep Matthewâ€™s legacy and memory alive, but also to continue the conversation about the importance of working for justice and safety for people who continue to be at risk.
After the show a few of us headed out to a favorite local restaurant to eat dinner and celebrate. We finished up about an hour and a half later and walked back out to Ashleyâ€™s car. When I circled the passenger side I realized that the back passenger window had been smashed in and there was an empty space where our bags used to be.
Ashleyâ€™s bag was a new rehearsal bag. Thankfully it only had some scripts, highlighters, notes, and a couple of theatre books in it. My bag, on the other hand, had my life in it. My laptop and ipad, all of the cash from the theatre companyâ€™s cash box, my fountain pens, my notebooks, my prescription sunglasses, and my passport.
I felt sick. Panicked. But also completely helpless. I knew the stuff was gone the second I saw the window. We filed a police report (mostly for insurance purposes) and drove around the block to see if anything had been dumped and then we went home.
Iâ€™m not going to lie I was not in a good space. I was furious. But I was also deeply sad. My notebooks had new writing in them, pages of new plays, notes, etc. My planner was in there. A journal I had just started. The log book I use to keep record of my days. All stuff that was irreplaceable. I just felt sick. And depressed. My brain immediately went to some very unpleasant places.
Posted online about the theft and posted in a group on Facebook for people to keep an eye out. I finally was able to get a bit of sleep.
When I woke up I was still in a bad place. But then things started to turn around: A friend reached out and set up a GoFundMe to try to raise some money to help replace what was stolen. A stranger found me on Facebook to say that she thought she had found my notebooks and when I opened the picture I could have wept with relief because she did!! The one thing that was irreplaceable had been found. â€¨â€¨Other folks reached out with words of support, with hugs, with consolation. I felt held up by my community and so grateful.
There is still so much to replace (or pay off). I am nervous about the passport situation. I am frustrated at the inconvenience of getting all of the tools of my craft reset and figuring out what I need right now and what can wait. And figuring out how to not let this completely throw me off my game. Iâ€™m figuring that when all is said and done itâ€™ll take about $4000 to pay for all of the replacements and the fix for Ashleyâ€™s window. I am thankful we are safe, and that our wallets and phones werenâ€™t in the car. But it still really really sucks.
So I am sitting in a place between sadness and joy, between relief and anger, between despair and hope. I am grateful for all of those who have already stepped up to help. Grateful to hear from folks who have told me that my work is meaningful to them and that I need to keep going on it. Grateful to those who have reached out to ask what we need.
I am grateful for you. And will continue to work for all of us; for justice, for visibility, and for hope.