I used to be a bike. At least I thought so. For the last 8 months I’ve been under the ownership of one “Zander” and I’m no longer sure. He owns me like a homeless person owns the sidewalk; we’re just peripheral neighbors, indifferent to one another and yet bound by proximity. This guy, he will leave me anywhere at any time locked or unlocked to fucking anything: benches, trees, playground slides, you name it. No regards to the location or conditions. Often he doesn’t return to get me for days on end. That I haven’t been stolen already is either a miracle or a curse. I don’t know what I did to deserve this but I must’ve be a pretty shitty bike in a past life or something. Not that I believe in that kinda stuff.
Okay, let me back up. I used to have a decent life. I spent most of my early years in Kettering, Ohio. I was owned by a sweet young girl named Allison who would occasionally take me for wandering rides around the town but most of my time I just hung out upside down with my buddies in her family’s two-car garage. It wasn’t much of a living but it was peaceful. Quiet. Safe.
Flash-forward 6 years, little Allison is all grown up. She’s moving across the country whatever that means, and for some reason I have to come with. Also she goes by Allie now. Without warning I am plucked down from the garage loft and strapped atop the family minivan. Thus began a 2 day ride across America. I’d like to say it was cool to see other parts of the country, I know a lot of bikes haven’t gotten to go to the places I’ve been. But honestly it was whatever. As far as I could tell most of the country is just more Ohio and some freeways. Until I got to New York of course. Man, I’m getting off the rails here, the long and short of it is Allison, er Allie, brought me here. But she never really rode me much in the first place and as I expected she grew bored of me after a few half-laps around Central Park and one much-photographed ride over the Williamsburg Bridge, and so I spent most (read: all) of my time in a basement in what I now know is Brooklyn. It was pretty chill, I mostly leaned against the wall. I had a flat tire but I had long since stopped caring. The most excitement I had was went the landlord installed a washer/dryer unit. I’ve been told this is a big deal in New York but I didn’t see what the fuss was all about. I grew to enjoy the noise. Two and a half years passed.
Then came Zander. Allie was moving to a much smaller apartment in the city and was selling items she no longer needed or could afford to store, including yours truly. How she came to know Zander I’m not sure, I think he was sleeping with her roommate or something. In any case Zander wanted a bike and Allie wanted some weed and thus an on-the-spot deal was arranged. I tried not to take it personally, I knew me and Allison never had that strong of a connection. I thought I was worth more than a quarter ounce but I digress. I was now Zander’s bike.
Zander is a monster. He’s the kind of guy you can take one look at and already tell his iPhone screen is smashed. Mattress on the floor, T-shirt-as-a-pillowcase dude. Just a garbage man. Not the profession, that’s actually noble in its way, but he does treat me like a piece of debris. It’s like he’s never owned a bike. I swear, I once watched him look at his weather app, see 100% forecast of rain, and still he left me chained to a tree in FRONT of his apartment. My chain is so rusty now when I’m pedaled I sound like Edward Scissorhands playing an accordion. It’s honestly embarrassing. My god, one time when he went home for thanksgiving he left me locked outside Port Authority for six (6) days. Didn’t even lock the tire or anything. The irony that I was tethered to a “No Loitering” sign wasn’t lost on anyone. I swear the pigeons were laughing at me like it was SNL back when it was still good(1987-89). I might have been projecting though, pigeons are hard to read. How no one tried to steal me I still wonder about, maybe I’m just that ugly. Who knows.
Zander mostly takes me out on his tinder dates. I think he thinks women like that he bikes but I don’t think anyone cares. If they saw what I see they’d know better. One time he introduced me to a date as “Delilah”. Like this is my bicycle Delilah. Who the fuck names a bike, you creep? I mean technically my name is Chinook Giant but literally no one has ever called me that. It sounds like it might be racist actually but maybe I’m oversensitive. I’ll bet the boys back in Ohio would say Brooklyn’s changed me. I hope they’re doing alright.
Anyways after a few drinks Zander sometimes convinces his potential mate to go to another bar. Invariably he abandons me at this point, to remain where ever he “parked” me. The third wheel as it were. Yes I know I have two wheels, it’s a metaphor. Whether or not he ever achieves success on these dates I couldn’t say since I have never made it to the end of one, but I highly doubt it. One time when he came back to collect me in the morning he was wearing the same clothes, but it was four days later. No walk of shame lasts that long. He’s just dirty like that.
And you wouldn’t believe some of the douchebags he locks me next to. A couple weeks ago he chained me up outside Bossa Nova on a Saturday, where do I even start? The one on my left was a single-speed but not a fixed gear, he made sure to specify. Upon his handlebars there was a literal mustache. Well, a fake one but a mustache, glued to the handlebars. Get it? I was like good lord this guy’s owner must be an even bigger tool than Zander. I almost felt bad for him, but then he asked me what I thought of the latest Tame Impala album and I told him I never really listened to them and he continued to talk about Tame Impala so I think him and his owner are probably a perfect pair.
The guy on my right was this Italian, Biggiotto or something like. Just a straight up typical guido, all flash and no character, wouldn’t stop talking. He kept saying he couldn’t wait to get back to Milan but I was pretty sure he’d never been outside of Bushwick. After he told me I “wouldn’t believe” his mother’s stuffed peppers for the third time, I reminded him that we are fucking BICYCLES and we don’t have mothers. Boy he really lost it then, it was like he was auditioning for the role of Al Pacino’s bike. Machines can be so delusional sometimes. Of course he was all bark and no bite, nothing happened. Also we’re both inanimate.
Anyways I should probably wrap this up, I can tell this is getting ranty. What I’m trying to say is I need a new owner. The sooner the better. Literally anyone or anything would be an improvement. Eight months is enough. Half the time Zander doesn’t even lock me up right, and he almost always leaves his light blinking. It shouldn’t be hard.
UPDATE: WHOA Zander just got a call from his mom. He usually screens these but he must be out of money again. Anyways, he pressed “accept” and through the receiver I heard his mother exclaim, “Happy Birthday, Alex!”
I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Alex? ALEX! that’s where he got fucking Zander!? I mean, I knew this guy was a fraud but this is the icing on the cake. I just figured his parents were dipshits too, youre telling me Zander was self-appointed? No, nope, no fucking way in hell. I’m reeling, not just my gears either. This is worse than Topher Grace. I refuse to be a bike named Delilah owned by some fake-ass Alex masquerading as a Zander. Nail in the coffin. Someone save me already. This guy is definitely gonna do some dumb birthday shit and ditch me before the night is over. Keep an eye out for me wherever mistakes are made. I’d start with the Burger King off Knickerbocker.If you see me, steal me. Happy birthday, Alex. May I never see you again.