Friday morning I was all motivated to wake up and get my stiff, been-driving-in-the-car-too-much, body back to Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta. After an almost 3 week hiatus, due to end of the fiscal year (physical year if you prefer) work crap, followed by fun travels through my home state of Michigan, I was ready to check myself back into the daily grind. No involuntary commitment needed. So, Thursday night I laid out my yoga clothes, wrote out my “I need yoga therapy for the next 30 days” check, ground the coffee and hit the sack.
When the alarm went off, I struggled to rise but ultimately found my smiling face skipping out to the truck a little before 6am with my thermos of java and some fresh yoga towels. But the hop in my step was interrupted with a blow. The door to my truck wasn’t fully closed and the interior light was on. WTF?
I slid onto the truck’s bench seat to investigate. How could I have been so careless the night before? What was I thinking?
Then I saw that the ashtray was pulled open and all of my McDonald’s salt packets were sprinkled on the seat (what? you don’t keep salt packets in your ashtray?). The four pennies I’d thrown in there were left untouched. I glanced to the right. The glove compartment was also open and the contents were strewn about the salty floorboards.
It was disconcerting that someone was ballsy enough to walk all the way down our driveway, past our bedroom window AND our neighbor’s bedroom window, undeterred by the motion detector lights, through a gate (albeit an open gate) and into the backyard. Probably just some kids looking for change?
For the record, I leave the truck unlocked because there is nothing to pilfer – unless they want my yoga mat, my stuffed dashboard frog, a used Kleenex, my bitch mirror, a bungee cord or some zip ties. I’d rather have the car thief just open the door and take those things than have him (cause it’s always a him, right?) break the window only to find there’s nothing to steal.
I then checked Doc B’s car and it looked untouched – doors locked, windows in tact. Then I remembered the shed, and more importantly, the possibility that I left it unlocked. Crap. Sure enough, no lock in sight… and… my bike was gone.
With my blood pressure now as elevated as a crack head that can’t find crack, my first inclination was to go back inside and tell Doc. B. But that would have interrupted her hour-long meditation. I thought better of it and went on to yoga. Doc B. showed up at yoga a little later, and again I lost focus on my yoga in order to consider going over to her and divulging what had been running through my head for the entire first half of the primary series. Nah. Why ruin both of our mornings? I’ll just wait until after I report the incident to the police.
When I got home from yoga, I called the non-emergency number for our fair city. A business-like but pleasant operator took all of my information and said a police officer would be out in 5 to 10 minutes to take a full report. 12 minutes later, a friendly officer arrived at our door and apologized for being late – that’s my City of Decatur tax dollars at work.
The officer looked at the scene of the crime and was disappointed that it had rained overnight or she could have “dusted for some prints”. I suggested it was probably some kids since all that was taken was a bike. The police officer said, “yeah, either that, or, for lack of a better word, a crack head looking for something easy to pawn”. She asked how much the bike was worth and I immediately felt sheepish in even having reported the crime. My 25-year-old Schwinn Mirada Sport was probably worth $25.00 but I said, in the form of a question, “$50?”
She maintained her seriousness and didn’t even roll her eyes. She then gave me her card with my case number on the back and some basic information on the front that identified her first initial as “F”. She said an investigator would be in touch with me in the next few days. I decided her name was either Frankie or Freddie while she told me she’d probably be getting more calls as the morning rolled on and people started to head off to work.
Meantime, cheerio my old chum. You will not go with me into my 50’s. I was so happy to get you. You were the start of my health regimen back in Battle Creek, Michigan where I would ride the 4 miles around St. Mary’s Lake trying to lose all the weight I gained in college. This was during my mid 20’s when I quit drinking beer and ate the same 1200 calorie meals every day for months. You helped me get to my lowest adult weight of 132 pounds followed by everyone telling me I looked anorexic. You carried me along the bike trails of Hilton Head Island every year. You caused storage issues in 7 different homes in Battle Creek, Atlanta, Norcross, Avondale Estates and now Decatur. You were perched on bike racks attached to several cars including the below Chevy Tracker, a Chrysler LeBaron, a Nissan Altima, a Toyota 4-Runner and ultimately you were tossed in the back of the Ford Ranger.
I’ve only owned three bikes in my life that I can remember. First was the blue Raleigh Chopper that I had up until 5th grade. All the boys at Stone School in Ann Arbor were jealous.
Then there was the red five-speed Schwinn that was in the bathtub on the morning of my 10th birthday (yes, my creative mom and dad woke me up on September 24, 1974 and told me I really needed a bath – I should climb out of bed and get in the tub. I couldn’t believe they were doing this to me on my birthday, and in front of my three younger siblings at that. I protested like a 5th grader would, and finally gave in, only to find my brand new bike hidden behind the shower curtain).
And finally, there was you, the Schwinn Mirada Sport. The only bike I’d ever purchased with my own money.
Truthfully…I’m shedding an even bigger tear for the combination lock that was in the handlebar bag of my beloved stolen bicycle. I’d had that lock since 7th grade when Mrs. Cope, at Tappan Jr. High in Ann Arbor, engraved my last name onto the back of it. No more 31-5-39 to remember after almost 40 years.
Crack head – I hope you got a hell of a high from that pawn of my lifetime.