July 17, 2013
“Don’t you know da rules here in Brooklyn? You think you can show up wit our kind of bike and ride like us? huh? I can imagine the look on your face when you saw it was stolen. You probably called your mom right away. Didn’t you?”
I’m silent, all I can really do is take it. Getting angry would serve no purpose and talking back would cause me trouble.
“Let’s see here… ha!, All you gots is dat wimpy chain? Don’t you worry, my boys will be back to take it. You ain’t never gonna make it back to California with that thing anyway. Everybody on the block be knowin’ dat was a white boy’s bike with all that traveling shit on it. Go back to Florida with all your racist friends like George Zimmerman.”
So many people mix up California and Florida. I guess they’re both beach states with Disneylands. I want to butt in and correct him then I realize I’m in the middle of getting dissed here. This guy doesn’t seem like the kind of person who likes getting corrected either. He’s a tough guy. He’s probably been like this his whole life and knows no other way. I wonder if he were to become paralyzed from the neck down if he’d still be so tough. My guess would be yes. He would mouth off to all the nurses or anyone who looks at him wrong.
I want to smash this guy’s face in but I think I would die trying. I also don’t think it would be the right thing to do. It’s like climbing into a tiger’s cage in a zoo and wanting to kill it for growling and being threatening. I should never have climbed in in the first place.
Maybe this guy is right; what was I thinking leaving my bike in the sketchiest neighborhood in Brooklyn for three weeks unattended. I guess I was just hopeful and blinded by the excitement of going to Europe. It was broken down so I wouldn’t have been able to move it anyway but still. Whether he’s right or not, it’s a horrible feeling being face to face with someone who may very well have been the person to have stolen my bike, or at least a friend of the thieves. On top of that, to be assured it will be stolen again takes away any peace of mind I had built up since getting the bike back.
Surprisingly though, I’m not as angry as I should be, just paranoid once again. To be honest, I was more angry with the police for charging me 300$ to get it back into my possession. I understand lower class thugs stealing from an outsider in their neighborhood, but the city stealing from me hit a nerve.
The guy begins talking to his buddies and I steal away. There’s nothing I can do but keep an eye on the bike once again until I find it a new home tomorrow. I spend the night in a light sleep , waking at every sound of a car driving by. I’m convinced they’ve come to take again what they believe to be theirs.
As much as I love New York and have been having a great time, I can’t wait to get out of here. I can’t do a thing until I get parts in the mail and figure out the bureaucratic catch-22 of getting a new license plate. California won’t issue me a new one because I’m not there in person. New York won’t because I’m not a resident. I can’t move and there’s a gang of guys trying to get my bike. My time here is starting to sound like a movie, its exciting, in a non-fun way.
I’m so used to people liking me and being accepted that it is a rude awakening to have this kind of experience with a stranger. It seems to be a purely race issue as well which I have never had an issue with being raised where I was and traveling mostly in Europe. Once again, I’m taken away from my little world and experience something new and interesting even if it may be uncomfortable.