City of Alameda police officer is kind, if not overly sympathetic.
would anyone leave an eleven hundred dollar bicycle parked outside
their apartment?" he asks incredulously. And he looks at David and I as
though we are both missing key *Common Sense Molecules.*
and I exchange a briefly mortified glance. "Where would we have put
it?" David says finally.
young police officer looks up from his
clipboard and glances around at our four-hundred-square-foot shoebox of
an apartment: at the guitar magazines and record albums, stacked five
feet deep ... at the vacuum cleaner, parked in the middle of the
... at Daughter #1, sitting on the sofa with her
unpacked luggage still piled all around her, looking tired and
guess I see your point," he says, both his tone and his expression
softening slightly. But the unspoken implication is still there.
you're going to spend that much money on a bicycle ... shouldn't you
take extraordinary precautions to keep it safe?
can I tell you? He's absolutely right. If you're going to spend that
much money on a bicycle, you should take
extraordinary precautions to keep it safe.
a lesson we are learning the hard way.
yesterday, between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. -- while we were at work,
maybe, or while we were picking Daughter #1 up from the airport, or
while we were all having dinner at our
favorite Mexican restaurant over on Park Street -- who knows
when, exactly? -- somebody managed to get inside our "security"
apartment complex, took a pair of bolt cutters and severed the
cable combination lock threaded through the concrete stairwell two
feet from our front door ...
and walked off with my groovy new bike.
Poof. Just like that.
did everything by the book, of course, the instant we got home and
realized the bike was missing. We stayed very calm. We called the
police immediately. We went to the manager's apartment and notified her
of the theft. We walked around the apartment complex and checked
stairwells, balconies, laundry rooms, the dumpster area behind the
building. We even posted a hastily-typewritten notice on the community
bulletin board, asking anyone who might have seen anything 'suspicious'
to contact the police. Once the police officer showed up, we produced
all of the paperwork: receipts (dated March 16th), serial numbers,
model specifications, digital photos from the website.
as he stands in the middle of our living room writing up his report,
the young officer tells us that his department manages to recover a
fair number of stolen bicycles.
be surprised," he says
I think we all know, in our heart of hearts, that my
bike is gone.
heartsick. I loved my groovy new bike. I'm also angry and
embarrassed and sad and disappointed in mankind in general. Still, my
main concern at the moment is Jaymi: not only because this is a visit
we've both been looking forward to very much, and it's gotten off to a
monumentally crappy start ... but also because I don't want her
of the emotional burden
here. This has been a pattern with us for far too many years: the
daughter mothering the mother. I want her not only to see me handling a
crisis, head-on, I want her to see me handling it calmly,
responsibly, maturely, good-humoredly. No crying. No using the *F*
word. No throwing things or putting my fist through windows or blaming
someone else for my own stoopidity.
no dive-bombing into a bucket of cheap chablis.
the police officer finishes his report and leaves to go interview our
neighbors, I sit down on the sofa next to Jaymi. She is very still and
very quiet: sadness oozes from her every pore. I lay my head on her
shoulder and tell her that everything is going to be OK. I'll just have
to save my money and buy another bike: in the meantime, I've got the
old reliable Schwinn.
know this is a crummy way to start our visit,"
I said. "But think of it this way: Five-Years-Ago-Mom would probably be
driving to Trailer Town for wine right now, if someone had stolen her
Jaymi replies, shaking her head. "Five-Years-Ago Mom wouldn't
even have HAD a bike in
the first place."
got a point.
think we'll be OK.