Stolen Bike Part 2: I’m Suspicious of Everybody

This post is sponsored by totally justified paranoia and excessive fantasies of gratuitous violence.  Since my bike was unjustly ripped from my life–which you can read more about here if that’s something you want to do–I find myself more suspicious of the people around me than is perhaps healthy. I saw a child on a bicycle and strongly considered asking him if he’d seen anything funny a few nights ago. Maybe it was the innocent glimmer in his eyes. Maybe it was the grating sound of his youthful giggle. Maybe it was his comically large front teeth that reminded me of my awkwardly proportioned childhood. No matter the reason, I didn’t trust this little bastard, and I desperately wanted to use the full weight of my status as “adult” to interrogate him to learn the truth behind all the disgusting criminal activity of this bite-sized Al Capone.

Like this but prepubescent and not yet qualified for the senior discount at movie theaters

But I didn’t. Because jail is scary. However, I’ve been having a lot of thoughts like that since the theft of my dear, dear bikey–yes, she had a name. I’m not as trusting as I once was, and I wasn’t that trusting to begin with. I’ve lost my natural happy-go-lucky disposition which has instead been replaced by a dour curmudgeon that I just don’t recognize. I used to be such a ray of sunshine, such a peach, but now I’ve transformed into a paranoid, bitter wretch.

Exactly what I was like before being embittered by this awful saga

Every bike has become mine. I see someone riding down the road, and my first impulse is to hurl my body at theirs and take back what was taken from me. I see bikes locked at gas stations, grocery stores, my own campus, and I see them first as rows upon rows of my own, but the image fades, and all that is left are lines of unfamiliar chains and tires. If my life were a romance movie, this would be the part where I’m walking around town in the rain why sad music plays to convince the audience that they should be sad too. I haven’t walked up to a bike shop and put my hand against the window, but I’ve seriously considered it.

I don’t miss lugging 45 of these around, but I also don’t like the thought of someone seeing my drawings of dragons in the pages of every textbook I had

This isn’t the first time I’ve had something important stolen from me. When I was young, someone stole my Gameboy, but I was convinced I had only lost it. For weeks I wanted to check under a dresser that was too heavy for my frail child-body to move, so I’d ask my dad or brother to help. They knew it wasn’t under there. Then, when I was a slightly older child, my backpack was stolen from the back seat of my brother’s car–his was too, but this self-pitying story is about me. I remember walking around in the bushes near the public library where the theft had happened because I was convinced that, upon seeing that a child’s backpack was full of textbooks, notebooks with illegible handwriting, and some broken pencils, the thief would discard it. I later started to believe that the thief had been some strange collector of underfunded elementary school textbooks because that’s about all they could have taken that was worth anything. Sometimes, I still picture a room lined with oversized books with peeling spines and “boobies” carved into the cover, and in the center of this room is a man convulsing on a pile of stolen notebooks.

I’m mostly back at work now. I’m writing a loose outline of what I want the semester to look like, planning for the next 16 weeks of my life. But in the background, I hear them, the students. And they’ve all got bikes. If only they knew that three stories above them was a brooding and bitter teacher, scowling down at them and their innocent disregard for how lucky they are to not have had their precious bikes stolen. If I were in a tower, I’d be obligated to wear a cloak and call myself a supervillain with a strange bike-related theme. Instead, I’m still annoyed and browsing Craigslist because I have the slim hope that my bike will turn up there, and then I can find the culprit and bludgeon them until they can win a Sylvester Stallone lookalike contest.

18 Replies to “Stolen Bike Part 2: I’m Suspicious of Everybody”

  1. I had several bikes stolen as a kid because I refused to lock them. Not sure what I was thinking. It must have just been pure, unadulterated irresponsibility. I even chased a thief for a half block before I petered out. Thieves suck.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A friend of mine whose bike was stolen also checked Facebook as well as eBay to see if anyone was trying to sell it. Sure enough, it showed up on eBay. She made an appointment to look at the bike, asked the seller if she could take it for a test ride, and he let her. She rode directly to the closest police station and gave them the culprit’s name, address, and phone number. They nabbed him, she got her bike back, and lived happily ever after. So maybe you’ll have a happy ending as well. Keep checking Facebook and eBay.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Damn you, Geraldine! I totally understand this feeling. About 9 years ago someone broke into my apartment and stole my Powerbook G4. That was the only thing “of value” in my apartment but still not very valuable since by then the Macbook was already invented. I suppose the criminal could get maybe 100 bucks for it back then and continue to save up for his or her next fix. The stupid drug addict (I’m making assumptions) just busted the lock off the door. It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my home, whichever place I was calling home at the moment. I still check the door and windows when I leave the house and sometimes I feel nervous about leaving the house for long periods of time (I was out of town when I got burgled). Over time you’ll feel less like this. It helps to have a sense of humor about it, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Humor is certainly helping out. I also make a lot of assumptions about the person who stole from me. It’s satisfying to assume they’re some kind of addict, horribly down on their luck, and with zero redeemable characteristics, the kind of person to look at a kitten and not have their heart broken by its cuteness.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your whole bike theft episode has touched me, bringing up apparent unresolved feelings. It’s what I get for reading things. (shaking my head disconsolately) I had a bike stolen at different times in my life, childhood (1), as a teenager (2), and adulthood (2). So much so, that I harboured a paranoid fantasy that criminals had me on some nefarious watch list. Recently I had a nightmare (not long after reading your post): I had my bike stolen. On the moon! It was the only way of getting around the lunar domed structures and it was livelihood! I woke up before I was shipped home. (reading too much hard sci-fi) The point is, all those feelings came up, anger at not only the thief, but those trying to console me, and bitterness and anger at myself, even when I didn’t forget to lock my bike.I may blog about this sometime, just to get it out of my system! I wish I could help you in some way, because when it is connected to your livelihood, it is that much more of a blow. Sorry about the long-windedness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thieves even followed you off the world. I’ve actually had similar suspicions recently. I’ve been paranoid that when I get a new bike, someone will go through any means to steal it because I’ve done something to anger a bike-themed crime syndicate or something. I wrote about it to get it off my mind, and it helps a lot. We will persevere!

      Like

  5. We’ve all been there. I was especially pissed a few years ago when my terminally ill friend had her bike stolen from the corner store she rode to because it was getting to hard to walk. Wanted to kill them too, but Karma’s real so, only drawback is I don’t get to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

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