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I was mugged. All of a sudden, this five-foot-two chick was taking my wallet. Later, I couldn't even tell the police what she had been wearing, but I remembered her voice, so deep and strange, sort of artificial. Or maybe it was my ears--my hearing may have been thrown off by the circumstances.

I tried to stop her, but she said, "I've got a gun, bitch!" So of course I got out of the way. All she got was 20 dollars, but what pisses me off is that I didn't say anything except "Give it back!" And when she said that about having a gun, I said, "No, you don't!" I'm sure she wasn't too scared of me.

I knew this guy who told me about a woman who was mad at him--we all were--saying to him, "You're gonna be a sad, lonely old man." He said that every time he told me about how he didn't want a relationship. What I think is that woman put a curse on him by saying that. You know what a curse is? It's preventable truth.

I should have put a curse on that mugger. I wish I had said something that no one she has mugged has ever said, something she would never, ever have forgotten. Something like, "You'll die in prison and your children will hate you." I would have liked it if time had stopped for just a second so I could do some violence on her brain.

I would have done it, too. I would have put a curse on her, but she took off like a shot after she got my wallet. Now I'm stuck having I-wish-I-had-thought-of-that-then conversations with myself. I wish I could tell myself that I chose to turn the other cheek, but I know I didn't. --Melissa King

Reader to Reader welcomes (and pays for) anecdotes, overheard conversations, and slices of city life from 20 to 200 words in length. Send yours to Reader to Reader,

11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or E-mail to R2R@chicagoreader.com.

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