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I tried to laugh but I couldn't

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I tried to laugh but I couldn't

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Someone pranked my bike.

I was asking for it. It had kept raining and raining, day after day, and after bringing the bike indoors to dry off and stay out of the rain twice in one week, I got frustrated and put it out in the front atrium of our building.

We aren't supposed to put anything in that space, it's just for the entry doors and the mailboxes, so I've been using the shared space selfishly for the last week. I intended for it to be more temporary than this, but I kept forgetting it was there and not remembering until I was walking past it on my way to work, scraping the bottom edge of late with no time to stop and address it. Plus, I've just been having such a hard time doing anything that I failed and it stretched out longer than was acceptable to at least one person. I'm the jerk. I get that. I'm under no misconception that this makes me look good in any way.

Today I went to take care of it. I took a little time to try and shop for a bike tarp so I can keep it dry outside - no success on that right now, even with a call to the bike shop, so I set that aside. Then I got dressed, dug out bike-safe tennis shoes, put on my helmet, grabbed my keys to unlock the bike went out to the front hall... and I can't actually ride because the seat's been turned backwards.

Part of me told the rest that I should find it funny, but I just couldn't. It just made me feel bad on too many levels:
  • I had to push through the apathy to go out there. I haven't even ridden the thing this summer because of the same apathy. This would have been the first ride, and while it doesn't sound like much, it was, and it gives me this hollow, sucking feeling when I make that kind of effort only to be thwarted.
  • I am seldom amused by pranks even when I'm not the victim. Even hidden camera shows that are short term and haven't got a lasting effect leave me pretty much cold, at least as an adult.
  • It also seems mean-spirited, and reinforces a fairly strong misanthropic streak I already carry. I understand the urge to teach a lesson if that's what this is; I have felt the desire to take a baseball bat to the windshield of cars that have alarms going off for longer than 10 minutes, but note how I haven't actually done it. If it's just vandalism for the fuck of it, I have no understanding of that at all.
  • I couldn't figure out how to put it right. If I'd been able to just turn it back around I would have been fine, but I wasn't, and I couldn't figure out why. nekouken has since come home and turned it around, so it was just that I wasn't using enough force, but still.
  • I don't trust that the rest of the bike hasn't been tampered with. Not only do I feel like I should be able to know just by looking how to fix it whether it's safe to ride, I think I should be able to take it completely apart and put it back together so I know everything's right. I don't want to do that work, though. In order to do it I will have to muster the care. It's hard to want to do anything, let alone something that involves gears and grease and wah wah wah. I am at the very least going to need to replace the front night light, as the battery's gone.
  • I don't have a garage to keep my stuff dry and safe from vandalism, because I don't have a house. I can't afford to get a house. If I want it inside I can either deal with it in my apartment or haul it across the complex to a different building and put it inside a storage locker in a basement.
  • I've been unhappy about work, and energy that goes to dealing with and bearing that saps my ability to react well to other problems.
  • Most relevant to the strong reaction, my period is due and I am swimming with hormones. Stupid body.

I feel better now - my first impulse was to just freecycle the thing and give up, but that's not really reasonable. We tested the brakes so it hasn't been messed with to a dangerous extent, and I will figure out the tarp thing, I will replace the busted light, I will ride the bike this summer. Not today, though, and this was a pretty shitty way to spend an afternoon.
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