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The International Writers Magazine
: A girl and her bicycle are soon parted

Heather Neale

A girl, a bike and a padlock...

When I got home from work last week my bicycle was gone from its usual home. Now, a normal person would potentially surmise that one of her neighbours had borrowed it, or that maybe she was a little ditzy and forgot it at the store and walked home. But not me- I am hip to this city and my luck in it. Why you ask? This is the third bike this year that I have had stolen from within my apartment. (Good apartment security too while we are on the subject.)

The first time it happened, I rode a stylin’ bush pilot mountain bike with lowered handles, a padded long-distance-style seat and the flashy colour of purple as its makeup. She was an $800 model, with a regular wire lock that was easily sawed through apparently because the thief took no pains in getting the bike out the door and leaving me the lock as a friendly reminder that he outsmarted me.
I cried.

For me, living in a big city with no car and a strong aversion to the city bus, (I mean, come on, all those hundreds of people in the same air, sneezing and snotting on their hands only to grab the pole that you touch just moments later) I was upset. Not only would I no longer have an outlet for daily fresh air to and from work, but now I would be subjected to illness, injury and predominantly middle-aged weirdos on this oblong transport service. (Trust me, I have since met them all.)

My bike was my freedom. So when it got taken away, I holed myself up in my apartment for a few days to brainstorm new plans, and all the while wrote a note to the person who took her from me, managing to insult his mama, his groin region, his small-man complexes, inability to communicate, illiteracy, inferiority, lifestyle, brains, and odor all in one breath. Then I smirked, satisfied with my revenge, and went to bed.
I guess it’s roller blades for me.

© Heather Neale Feb 2004

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