I’m pretty sure I’m unmuggable, even though there is no rational basis for this assumption. I just sort of feel it, and thus far it’s held, so I’m not changing my mind any time soon.
On paper, I know that I am actually a prime target for attack, and that there are actually a plethora of market forces that make robbery semi-appealing. To the first point, I am small and weak and carry paper money lest I crave a pineapple bun from the local cash-only Chinese bakery and find myself unable to procure one. I do not know how to fight and post an 8-minute mile at my fastest. This is to say, on a purely athletic basis, I am not outperforming the average robber. To the second point, I reside in San Francisco, a city synonymous with the ubiquity of petty crime (though I firmly reject this association, likely due to my imperviousness to experiencing it), where the go-to "welcome to the neighborhood" gift is getting your car windows smashed in. At any given time, the broader economy is experiencing a minor disaster, probably, and also the world is trending towards collapse, maybe, and thus it follows that a portion of the innumerable people under evolutionarily unfathomable duress will resort to violence.
Sure. This is information I am aware of and accept. And yet, it feels near impossible that I might be maliciously approached on the nice streets of the city, which I roam freely and confidently in full embrace of the stunning public infrastructure that our taxpayer systems do a remarkable job of keeping in a functional state. When’s the last time you worried about being caught in a sinkhole, or a streetlight toppling over and bonking you on the head? Haven’t you also taken the N-OWL at 2 AM and observed how late-night transit passengers have a care economy of their own? I know it’s fun to harp on how shit everything is, but I promise many things are working!
Loudly proclaiming that I am unmuggable sometimes feels like I’m posing a challenge to the universe, like I’m asking for some real juicy irony a la Titanic-style sinking of an unsinkable ship. But at the same time, I’ve successfully trivialized the experience to the point where I now think it’d be kind of humorous to get mugged. I took something supposedly big and scary and turned it into an amusing joke; I zapped the monster and shrunk it into an itty bitty creature with a high-pitched squeaky voice.
Sense of personhood is self-constructed, at least partially. External actors provide enough input to cobble together a skeleton framework, but we have individual agency over deciding which frequencies of the noise legitimately apply to us -- which traits and characteristics we actively want to adopt. For me, it feels exceedingly true that I will never be a victim of physical theft. The evidence is that I haven’t been, even though I am relatively tiny and reckless and run around at nighttime going lalalalala wearing headphones. Perhaps I do exhibit behaviors that make attack statistically less likely -- I’m often skipping or running or twirling in circles with my mouth agape like “:O woah world cool” -- but even without my occasionally unpredictable physicality, I still think I’d be unmuggable. It’s just how things are, same as how birds fly and fish swim and humans flail and dance and can't help but love.
My truth, if you choose to accept it, is that I cannot be mugged. It's just not on the table, sorry! I will simply put my hand out, say “No way, buster!” and stop any and all muggings. I am an unassuming little girl, and I am also untouchable. I have nothing to prove, and you have nothing to take. If you ask, I will make my best effort to give, and so there’s no need for force.
All of this sounds a little out of touch with reality (because it is), so I will attempt to ground it in followable, if poorly premised, logic. When I say I’m unmuggable, what I’m really asserting is the following beliefs:
Honesty is the virtue I hold most near and dear, and still, I believe that it is okay to lie to yourself. Delusion in the direction of progress isn’t crazy, it’s productive. I trust you to treat me well, if not because it’s an evidenced worldview, then because it makes me feel safer and freer and happier. If you think you can manage to lie to yourself in positive ways, then you should try it too.
Things can be factually untrue, and also completely real. This is one of the more interesting contradictions to explore.