a crackhead stole my bike

A crackhead stole my bike.

I imagine him pedaling away on it, standing up on the pedals and leaning a bit forward to enjoy the sensation of the wind on his face. The breeze is blowing the strings of his knitted cap and his hair back and ruffling his army jacket, and he's feeling good. He's moving fast and it's better than when he's on the train because its just him and the wind and my bike.

Maybe he thinks I don't need it, or I won't miss it, or that his troubles are far more than mine. He may be right about one or more of these. I don't really know.

Maybe the sun is on his face and on the bike and he can really feel the warmth of it through the haze of the drug cocktail his bloodstream's become. Maybe he feels the best he's felt in years and he thinks about calling his sister and telling her he's sorry. Maybe he might try tomorrow to get some work and kick the drugs.

Maybe the bike is just the one shiny and pure thing in his life that simply works without being paid or threatened and it convinces him that there is beauty and simplicity and wonderfulness left in the world. Maybe he and my bike overcome.

Maybe someday he will look me up, and drive over to my place in his car. Maybe he will get out and reach into the back and pull out the bike. Maybe he will have had it all shined up and fitted with new parts, but it'll still be the same old bike.

He'll say to me "I stole this from you and it was the last evil thing I ever did. I've changed and my life is no longer a wasteland. This bike saved my me, and now I am returning it to you with my apologies."

I'll put my hand on his shoulder and look him in the eye, and tell him it's okay, because things are far less important than people. We won't be able to be friends again, of course, because the trust is gone, but an old wound won't be so tender for either of us.

I'm mad at you for stealing my bike, but I don't hate you. It seems to me that anyone who has to steal bikes from their friends to support their drug habit has got some problems in their life that are greater than a missing bike. It's true that we all have problems, but mine are small in comparison.

I choose to believe that that bike will help you, and that you desperately needed it, and that someday you will bring it to me and I will forgive you and tell you I wish I had known how to help you, even though we both know there's nothing I could have done.

I hope my bike can help you.

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