They unscrewed the No Parking sign from its little metal base in the ground, lifted it up and out of its hole and through the chain lock that hung impotently from my bike, and stole it. I know this because they left the signpost laying in the dirt and the screw in the gutter. The morning I found out my bike had been stolen I just stood there trying to make sense of everything. The post in the dirt. The screw in the gutter. My bike, gone. That’s when you came up the street and fit all of the pieces together. “Bike stolen, huh? That’s the shits.” Your Pomeranian on its flashy red leash nodded solemnly in agreement.
The first thing you suggested was going down to Hastings street. That’s where most missing bikes end up, you told me. You offered to take me down there, which was unexpected. It was Saturday, I was hungover and upset, you had the day off, so I agreed. The three of us puttered down Main St. in your little Corolla and parked at what you said was a “safe distance.” We started where Main splits Hastings and worked our way West. Douglas, the Pomeranian, skittered around the sidewalk, smelling at the feet and the wares that the homeless people lining the buildings were selling. Douglas yelped as you tugged hard on his lead. “Can’t let him get too close, who knows what sort of shit these people are carrying.”
It didn’t take long to find it. The chain-lock had been snipped off but there it was, leaning against a wall, a few t-shirts draped off of it like a clothing rack. I whispered that we’d found it and you turned red. Motherfuckers you called them as you walked up, kicking over the old VHS tapes and long extinct electronics laid out purposefully on a ratty blanket. “It’s not an option, we’re taking the bike back you thieving fucks,” you declared. A weathered middle-aged man stood up and you told him to sit his ass down. You took the bike, tossed the shirts that had been hanging from it in the man’s face, and wheeled it over to me triumphantly. As we walked back to your car you asked if I wanted to get something to eat. I looked at you, searching for something, anything in your eyes.
vancouver, BC > vancouver > personals > missed connections
Portrait by Chelsea O’Byrne for Portraits of Brief, Casual Encounters