by Scott Adlerberg
I'm sitting here writing this post in quite an angry mood because yesterday (Memorial Day) was a day that did not go well. While out with my son in Brooklyn, as we were pausing on our way to a planned ride through Prospect Park, I managed to get my bicycle stolen. It's a good bike, expensive, and I use it all the time. In fact, I recently canceled my gym membership because I wasn't using the gym enough and I figured this summer I'd get most of my exercise through bicycling. All these years having bikes, including as a kid of course, and this was the first time I ever had a bike stolen. It's my own fault. I'm usually diligent to a fault with the bike. If I step away from it for even a minute, I lock it up against something. Yesterday, though, to answer a phone call I had to take, I got off the bike without locking it, and for a brief moment I got so into the conversation that I forgot about the bike and turned my back on it. The next time I looked back, maybe a minute later, about fifteen feet from where I'd left the bike standing, it was gone. My son, whose 10, was nearby also (I'd locked his bike to something), but he was preoccupied with the irregular water spray of the fountain that's in front of the Brooklyn Museum, where we were. Plenty of people around, sitting on the museum steps chatting, walking by for strolls on a summery day, so I think that subconsciously I let my guard slip because I figured that in such an open public spot next to the museum, nobody would steal the bike. Idiot! And I actually call myself a New Yorker? How many years have I lived in this town and I still make a rookie mistake? Apparently, yes, I do, and there's nobody to blame but myself. But I will say that whoever took the goddamn thing must have been clocking me and my son closely to slip behind me and hop on the bike in that fragment of time I let my usual alertness slip.
So.....screw it. What's done is done and I can't do anything about it. I figured I'd let off some steam about it here instead of writing what I had planned, which was a piece on...I'll save that for a future post.
In the meantime, since even when I'm pissed because of something that happened in real life, I find it difficult not to look for a literary or cinematic analogue, here are a couple of classics you can't go wrong with that have to do with the crime of bicycle theft. They're easy to find and watch or, more likely, re-watch.
Vittorio De Sica's 1948 masterpiece
Is there anyone who does not know what film this is?
Until next time, when hopefully I'll be in a better mood.