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Pilfer Eight

By October 14, 2014December 6th, 2018No Comments3 min read

“Do you like my bike?” the voice behind me asked.

I cringed, my finger locked above the camera button.  Recently I heard this very question while I was taking a photo of another bike, only to turn around to discover a stupefied glare from an open window.
My mind goes back again to an article I read.  How someone can take a picture of a bike, jot down the spot and send it online to a bike thief in Amsterdam.  For a small fee, the bandit will do the heist. I shuttered to think I could be associated with such a cardinal sin.

“Um, yes…” I answered, straining to stand up from my squat. I spin around to find a girl with an inquisitive smile and agreeable eyes. I paused, scanning her pattern of facial piercings as I scrambled for something to say.

“Why do you have so many lights on your bike?”

“Oh, I like to collect them,” she said.

“What an odd thing to collect,” I thought to myself, looking down at her bike. The lights hung like ornaments along the flat handlebar. My simple curious nature was perked, it was for this reason, I veered off the path to take a picture. I recognize them as being the cheap lights found at any dollar store that would make claim to have a bike accessories section.  I know many of them have the lifespan of a worker bee, but wanted to ask anyway.

“Do they all work?”

“Yes, I test them before I take them,” she replied.

“Take them from where?…” my thoughts began to stitch a foregone conclusion.

“From other bikes,” she said proudly. “If it works, I’ll steal them and add it to my collection.”

Momentarily stunned by Dutch frankness of things, I became mindful of my head that was ever so slightly moving left to right in disapproval. I hope she didn’t notice, but she continued.

“I’m going to collect more until this is full,” she said enthusiastically, sweeping her finger across the handlebar.

I stood silent.

She asked if I wanted to take more pictures of her bike. I happily nodded and shot a few more, postponing my last snap to count the lights. Eight.

We said our goodbyes and I set off on my bike.  I glanced down at the plastic bulb dangling from my handlebar. Pulling at it for a while as I rode, inspecting it between my fingers before I pinched the button to turn it on.

Pilfer Eight

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