Friday, October 16, 2009

The Parable of the Bicycle Thief

This is my second This I Believe essay, and I think I've done a slightly better job this time around. Enjoy!

I named my bicycle Alex, after the artist, Alexander Girard. It was a vintage-style beach cruiser, candy-apple red, with Mr. Girard’s “Madonna” painted on both sides of the skirt guard. It had a chrome lamp on the front, powered by the wheels, and a silvery-sounding bell, which friends, acquaintances, and even strangers would ask to ring.
Most days when I go to ride my bike to school, I scan the rack for a minute or so, trying to remember where I parked the day before. Last Thursday, I did this, weaving through the rows and glancing around for that familiar flash of red.
It was several seconds before I realized that my bike simply wasn’t there.
Later that morning, I told my friends that our beloved Alex had been kidnapped. Some told me furiously that they would knock over anyone riding my bike. More than one of my good friends has scoured Craigslist and the rest of the internet, hunting for my bike. That night, my roommates walked with me in the freezing cold to every single bike rack in our apartment complex to look for Alex, and at last, to the one I used to park at.
“I feel like we’re standing around a grave,” said Chelsee.
“Alex was a good bike,” I said, jokingly.
“Whenever I saw him on campus, it made me smile!” said Charne.
I have wondered about the kind of mean-hearted person who stole my bike. My thoughts, originally, were full of prejudices and resentment, but mostly pain that any feeling person could do that to me. I will probably never meet the bicycle thief, but that person hurt me without any reason to. Conversely, since I'm a freshman in college, the friends of which I speak are people whose trust and love I have gained over mere months, weeks, or even days.
Lying on the grass with one of my new friends, I listened to her tell me about how maybe the bicycle thief was a kind of Aladdin character. She said maybe he’d stolen the bike to pay for a dying child’s operation, and once he had a magic lamp, he’d give me my bike back.
Obviously, this is extremely unlikely, but despite the fact that there are bicycle thieves in the world, there are friends who make up ridiculous stories to comfort you. There are roommates who will walk in the freezing cold with you for a nearly lost cause. There are people who will search all over the internet for something formerly irrelevant to them, just because they care about you.
All people have the power to be bicycle thieves, but every human being also has the power to share happiness . My encounter with the bicycle thief taught me that bicycle thieves are, fortunately, a minority, and that there are people who will wrap you in love whenever you even vaguely need it. Thankfully, those are the people I find around myself now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Minstrels on Campus

The other day, after our Progressing in Honors class, some friends and I were walking through the quad in front of the JFSB when we saw a small band, (consisting of a violin, a guitar, a mandolin, and a small harp) playing outside! We walked over to them and sang along while they played "Hallelujah," and it was all so nice and poetic.
There is not much else to say about this, but Greta thought I should blog about it, so I am. Plus it is a cute story. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Emily and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday morning, things were going all right. I looked cute, my homework was (essentially) done, and I was writing a new song.Then I walked outside.Those of you who know me are aware that I am the proud owner of one of the prettiest bikes ever. It's truly beautiful, and it makes me happy to ride it. It also brings spice and smiles into the lives of people around me, and even passersby on the street.
Yesterday morning I walked down the stairs from my apartment and then to the bike rack where I park every day. On Wednesday, I hadn't ridden my bike to school because of the rain (my roommate gave me a ride). Standing before the bike racks, I tried for a few seconds to remember where I had parked my bicycle two days before. I scanned the rack for it and couldn't see it. I walked around the rack and couldn't find it.Then I realized my bike simply wasn't there.
I mumbled exclamations and gasped Nos for a few seconds and then whipped my
phone from my bag and called my mom, crying, and beginning the long walk to school. It was 10:40 or so. I had a class at eleven. I talked to my mom for a long time, crying and worrying about what I should do. In my classes, the friends of mine who know my bicycle (whom we have fondly named Alex) mourned with me, gave me hugs, and offered hilariou
s consolations about bike thieves.
I feel like someone's died, and as if it was one of my best friends.
I have registered my bike here at If you live in Provo, or anywhere thereabouts, please keep a lookout for any bike like mine. Here is a picture of it, in case you don't have time to check out the link.
I am also keeping an eye on all the Craigslists around Utah and the KSL classifieds. I plan to look at Ebay as well.
My bike's information is all online, so please help if you can! Thanks so much!

Yours sincerely,

Emily Brown