Monday, January 25, 2010


I thought I lost this blog after I posted it and never saw it displayed. It turns out I had it posted on my other blog spot account. It happened months ago but now here it is. YAY!

I woke up this morning just like a lot of other Mondays, the alarm snoozer hit a couple of times and the annoying cat on the porch crying to get in but when I looked out the window I saw a very thick marine layer settled in on our little beach town. We had been hit with a lot of it lately but this morning it was so thick the ground was damp and you could see the mist swirling in the air. I pulled myself outta bed and stumbled toward the bathroom, cats following me for food and attention, neither of which I was awake enough to fulfill. I usually wake up two hours earlier than I need to be at work so that I can assure a relaxed morning routine. I may take a shower, I may eat breakfast but the one thing that never varies is the fact that I will check Craigslist.

While the cats were crunching on their breakfast I turned on the kettle and sat down at the computer for my addiction update. I always check the Free section of CL first, not wanting to miss out on any amazing treasures. Usually its the same old stuff like raggety old sofas, bags of baby clothes or if you're lucky a box of VHS tapes but today was one of those Holy Grail days. When I clicked the refresh button (yes the CL free section is always open in a browser) I saw what looked like a mundane post: Free, old couch old chair...but what I read next made me bolt for the door.... Antique Indian Bicycle. I was halfway to the door when I realized I was still in my pajamas! In case you have never seen an Indian Bicycle here is a pic of one.

BEAUTIFUL! I hurriedly re-read the post. The author actually said that "these bikes are worth a lot of money but I just don't want it" Wha??? Alrighty pal, your loss, my gain! I checked the time of the post, 7:15 am and then checked the time it was right then, 7:20am. Oh my Lord it had only been up 5 minutes on a Monday morning!!! My chances of getting this bike were excellent! I quickly threw on some clothes & shoes and looked up a map to get to the guy's house. He was all the way over in the other side of town but I was sure I could make it. I clicked print and ran downstairs to warm up the wagon. On the way down I saw my roommate's boyfriend's car parked behind our cars partially blocking us in. I surveyed the space left to escape and deemed it adequate, just barely. I fired up Lucy and remembered that I needed gas, aw shit! Alright, no worries, I'll just pump a couple of bucks really quick and then jump on the highway, no sweat....still plenty of time!

I ran back upstairs and grabbed the map (the cats thought I was nuts) and slammed the door behind me (sorry sleeping roommate & roommate's mate). I jumped in the car and squinted through the heavy mist that was collecting on the windshield and then painstakingly extracted my car from the driveway. I backed down the long driveway with my arm over the back seat and head turned all the way round, a stance I like to call "Dad arm" in honor of all the old dudes out there. The mist was really thick on the glass when I arrived on the street. When I flipped on the wipers, the drivers side arm wasn't working. Arrrggg! I pulled over, hopped out and fiddled with it, hopped back in and tried it again. Still wonky. I resolved to mess with it at the gas station while pumping gas and simultaneously envisioning riding that sweet bike. Time was a wastin'.

I had to bust out the tool kit and ratchet down the wiper arm but then it was good to go. Then I jumped back in the car and hit the road again. All the way to the highway I caught green lights. What a good omen, I thought. When I got onto the highway it was smooth sailing until the Kimball Rd. exit. I consulted the map again after the exit and only had a few short blocks to go. I was almost there when I accidentally passed the street. D'hoh! I was about to make a quick (re: illegal) u-turn when I spotted a cop car and decided better of it. I had to go a block past my turn & wait for a light to change....Arrrgh! When I finally arrived at the street I started peeling my eyes for my prize. I was looking for a God like bicycle glowing through the fog, beckoning me near. "Ride me, love me" I thought I heard it saying. I was becoming increasingly elated. Finally, I pulled up in front of the correct address and could not believe my eyes. I saw a man loading the Indian onto the ladder rack of a work truck! I felt the fog closing in around me, the magical voice of the bike getting more and more distant. I was stopped directly in front of this spectacle, the engine of my Dart faithfully humming. I rolled down my window and said the only thing I could say to the man, "OH NO! You just beat me to it!" and then he turned towards me and said the only thing he could say to me, "Que?". This man was not the proud discoverer of a rare vintage bike, he was the Swap Meet equivalent of Christopher Columbus; the discoverer of a pricey piece of merchandise. I had the thought that I could make a cash offer for it right then and there but then I remembered that I don't really ever carry cash. Right after that I realized that the reason I don't carry cash is because I never have money! I stared at the man loading the bike and mumbled a less than half hearted "Good Luck man" and drove away into the mist.

While I was headed back to my house where I would hurriedly shower and have a cup of tea I was thinking of all the small snags that had delayed me in those last crucial seconds. The blocked driveway, the busted windshield wiper, the stop to get gas, the u-turn & the cop, it was a comedy of errors that was for sure. Take any one of those items out of the equation and I would be loading the Indian into the back of my Dodge Dart. I laughed a little to myself and thought well,
that was a pretty valiant attempt but it was truly more of a Dart experience.


Uncle Atom said...

Heartwrenching! I think we all have felt that near miss ache in the pit of the stomach - I know I have. Missed a Jetsons dome lunchbox (the original early 60s version) by a few seconds at a flea market years ago. Other misses were so painful I've blocked them from my memory. But these things even out over time, and next time you'll get there seconds before someone else.

erin said...

this story breaks my heart!