The Bicycle

There for the taking


And speaking of bicycles (Lost and Found), the other day I was walking into a grocery store, and some guy rode up on one and left it unlocked right next to the entrance to the store. He arrived just ahead of me and left the bike leaning against the outside wall.

It was a nice ride – a mountain bike – and as I walked by, the first thought that went through my mind was: wouldn’t it be funny if I got on his bike and rode away? He wouldn’t even notice me. I actually laughed at the thought of doing something so reprehensible.

Okay, well … it wouldn’t be funny to him, and I didn’t do it. I’ve never stolen anything in my life – except for some candy bars at a store when I was about 5 years old (a very large box-boy grabbed me by the wrist after I stood outside the store consuming the second one, and was threatening me with bodily harm, at least it seemed that way at the time, and turned me over to my embarrassed mother, after lecturing me about all things thievery), and a few minutes were stolen here and there from various jobs throughout the years (which is why I prefer working for myself – if possible), but other than that, I haven’t stolen anything – I think … I’m pretty sure … but who wants to dredge up the past anyway? Needless to say, I’m not a thief.

But what struck me was why I had such an impulse – to take something  (a mode of transportation no less) from another human being. Why did it even enter my mind? I thought it over and decided it was because of his cavalier attitude about leaving it unattended and unlocked, right outside the store. It seemed a mark of naiveté on his part, at least to my cynical mind. I’ve also noticed women leaving their purses unattended in shopping carts while grocery shopping, but who am I to preach about the cruel world out there? Besides, I don’t carry a purse, I carry a wallet – in my front pocket. But even that doesn’t matter, as I’ve still managed to lose it 3 different times in my life.

Tomorrow I will tell about one of those times, and what a long and winding adventure that was.

Let’s just say … a quintessential moment in my long and winding life.


From A Memoir of Most of It

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