A year ago I was on a quest. I needed a vintage hub to replace the cheap rear hub on my bicycle beach cruiser I use in New York. I was looking for something almost tossed, vintage (pre 1968), with a red stripe down its middle.
I found a broken, discarded bike on Orchid Street near Delancy. The bike was clearly vintage. The Schwinn paint has long faded into nothingness. The spokes on both tires were rusted. Several were broken. Both tires were flat. The seat had cracked. Even the handlebars were pitted with rust. Everything on the bike said it had been abandoned. I loved the gamble!
I left a note explaining it was the “bike of my childhood” and I wanted to buy the bike. Weeks later I received a call We agreed to meet. Nobody showed up. I got talking to the guys selling for the stores on the street. They explained how the bike was Mike’s. The bike hadn’t been ridden in two years. We talked of doing a deal. I left, waiting for a call. A week later they did and I had my bike. The only niggle was the fact that they never touched the bicycle, locked or when I picked it up unlocked. I always wondered.
For over nine months that spot on Orchid Street remained empty. Last week a bicycle showed up in the exact spot where I purchased the wreck. It was another vintage bike, on the edge of ruin and destruction. Was this the real owner? Had he or she been in morning, finally moved to take action? “Oh tremble, you indolent women. Get serious, you pampered dolls! Strip down and discard your silk fineries. Put on funeral clothes. Shed honest tears for the lost harvest, the failed vintage. Weep for my people's gardens and farms that grow nothing but thistles and thorn bushes. Cry tears, real tears, for the happy homes no longer happy, the merry city no longer merry.” (Isaiah 32.11-13)
Are we, am I, as engaged in life so I feel these emotions?
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