To the Man Who Stole a Bike Right Off of My Trunk,

Woof.  Not cool, bro.

You come along with your hands in your pockets, on one of the first warm days Chicago has had all year, and you steal an old fixie from right under my lowest branch.  You know, there are names for people like you, but since I don’t have a mouth I can’t even say what they are.

Have you even thought about the couple that chained that bike there?  The guy, the one with the freckly face and blonde patch on the right side of his head, yes, that guy, he rode from Wellington to meet his girlfriend for a quick picnic before work.  The girlfriend, the one with the short black hair and turned up nose, yes, that one, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to be in the relationship in the first place.  Then that boy showed up with two cheese sandwiches and a soccer ball, and well, he changed her mind on the spot.  But you wouldn’t care about that, would you, thief?  All you care about is making a few quick bucks from some poor sap on Craigslist.  You make my stomach turn, which is saying something since I don’t even have a stomach.

You know, when he got there, he chained his bike up good and tight, to the point where I was worried about the extra bits of water in my leaves reaching my roots.  But you just bypassed all of that, didn’t you?  Did you stop to think about whether or not the kid could afford a new bike?  Well let me answer for you – he can’t.  I know this because he had a plaid piece of fabric sewn into the crotch of his pants, and he told his girlfriend he couldn’t afford to buy the wine she requested.  You should have seen the look on her face – but it was nothing compared to the look on his when he realized he would have to walk six miles home!  I have never heard profanity like that, mainly because I don’t have ears.

Aside from annihilating that poor kid’s trust in humanity, you really tore me up.   You didn’t think twice about pulling out 32 of my branches in order to get that bike…and now I have a rash.  Not to mention that you left the basket on my top branch, to itch and scratch at me until the day I grow strong enough to be climbed, if I even make it that far.  I’ve only been alive for 30 years.  Do you know how embarrassing that is for me?  Everyone in my family lived to be over 100 years old, and they really lived.  I haven’t even lived long enough to have someone’s crush’s initials cut into me.  My first real experience with pain came out of greed and egotism, not 14-year-old lust.  I would be more upset with you, but I don’t have a limbic system.

I hope you come to regret your actions.  If you do, please don’t hesitate to come back and swing that rusty old one-speed over my head again.  Just don’t forget to grab the basket.


Your Neighborhood Catalpa Tree


Kristina Felske is the founder and chief editor of the Other Otter and a big, big fan of appetizers. http://www.kristinafelske.com // twitter.com/kristinafelske

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