Tonight at dinner, someone stole my camera bag.

I was eating at a restaurant with some friends and my bag was sitting right next to my chair, as in touching it. It was between me and the next table, no one could have walked by, and I could have sworn that no one could have taken it from there. A dutch family says that they saw a little girl twice, and that can only mean one thing.

The contents of the bag were important and costly, as these things always seem to be, but the thing that breaks my heart and makes me want to cry is that my travel journal was in there. My travel journal that Katie made for me–the one she worked for hours and hours and hours on. the one that I had just today written on the first page with a quote, just hours before. Now it’s in the hands of some cretin who will probably rip the pages out and sell the journal, inscription and all, for a few cents off a blanket somewhere. that wasn’t just a journal, it was a great gift. I hadn’t even gotten to write much in it yet. I just want to cry.

My camera was also a gift, one that I cherished, and the two extra lenses with it? Gifts, after a fashion. they’re what I spent a good chunk of my college graduation money on. Some dirty thief has my camera setup, too. they also got my secondary camera that I keep loaded with B&W film, my 4+ rolls of exposed film, three written, unmailed postcards, some blank postcards, my Barcelona book, about $100 in british pounds, a harmonica, my hacky sack and probably something that I’ve forgotten about already. Oh yeah, my mini alarm clock was there, too. What the hell am I going to do to make my plane tomorrow? Shit.

It made for a bad end to a good dinner, to say the least. I spent the next hour casing the trash piles out in the streets, but the odds that my journal would have been tossed, what with its leather cover and all, are very slim. Then I walked all the way back here, sadly going over and over how I lost such a precious bag. I was careful, there were 10 people that could have seen it happen–the little thief was just prepared and made off with some of my most prized possessions. Next time I have something valuable to travel with, I guess I’ll strap it to myself.

That camera setup, bag and all, went on many adventures with me. It was a good bag, safe for delicate equipment, comfortable, roomy. (It also had all my addresses in it for mailing postcards, so there’s a good chance that you won’t get a postcard from me this trip anymore unless you’re, you know, my mom….) I just want to go cry now, but instead I think I’ll take a shower and think about the irony of the fact that Papa told me to take a lot of pictures and write a lot and that those things would be valuable, maybe in many ways, someday. Ha. Now they’ll bring a few pennies to some street rat, some less-than-senseless thing, someone without even the courtesy to leave me the exposed film, which can’t possibly be useful to them. Fuckers.

I think I’ll be taking a long shower. Have I mentioned that I want to cry? If I owe you an e-mail, you’ll have to wait another day cause I don’t think I’m much in the mood for writing any more. Sorry.