I come to you with extremely sad news. My bike, my lovely shiny new bike has been stolen. It happened a couple of weeks ago but I’ve been too upset to tell you about it. I popped for a couple Whiskey Sours with Gem Dog and Jimbo, came out and it’d gone. Just wandered up and down for a bit on Mare St. Not quite sure why. I wasn’t sure what you’re supposed to do when someone nicks your stuff.
I’ve only ever had one other meaningful possession stolen from me before this. They were a pair of black suede Air Jordan high tops when I was about 12. I had them at the back end of my spiffy jeans phase in about 1995, I loved them. They made me look like a right cool mother.
They were the one of the things that in hindsight I feel quite guilty about even having owned; no not because they’re absolute rascals! My folks never had much money when we were growing up and I pestered my Mum for weeks to get them, probably making her feel really guilty and generally being prepubescent little shit to get my way. Mum told me that if my Dad asked how much they cost I had to tell him they were on sale and were £30. He did ask, I told him they were £30, he wasn’t happy, he argued with my Mum. They were actually £60.
I’ve been thinking about stuff like that alot recently. I’m sure I was no worse than any other teenager wanting what the other kids had, but now when I really understand the value of money it makes me cringe thinking about what a strain I must’ve put on my parents.
My Dad worked 12 hour shifts as a mechanic and would get up to do private work after 5 hours sleep pretty much everyday. Mum worked as a dinner lady and done some cleaning when we were young for the extra cash. £60 was probably a weeks food shopping for the five of us.
I never realised what a big deal a pair of £60 trainers would be for us back then. I remember her craftily colouring in the scuff marks on the toes with a black marker pen when I came in from playing football in them one day. She’d always give them a once over with the suede brush when I took them off and they must’ve had about 4 cans of suede proofer used on them in their short life. All delaying tactics for the next instalment of bitching and whining and another £60 we couldn’t really afford.
Then one day on the way home from school some bigger boys from one of the rough estates stopped me and my mate and demanded our shoes. We’d heard about some kids from the other secondary school having their shoes nicked but just thought it was one of those bullshit stories like getting your head flushed down the toilet or that film where the woman gets shagged by a horse and licked out by a cow.
So yeah. They gave me a punch in the side of the head (made my ear bleed) and took my trainers. It had been raining and I remember people in cars slowing down to look at the chubby ginger kid crying and pulling his soggy socks up at the side of the road. All I could think about was my Mum meticulously colouring in the scuff marks and how up-set she would be if she found out I they had been stolen.
I recall walking in the back door of the house, my wet socks slapping against the vinyl flooring. I walked straight up to my room, lay face down on my bed and cried for about an hour.
I never told my Mum about what happened to those trainers. I told her that I left them somewhere. She shouted at me, probably thinking I had chucked them as I didn’t want them any-more. I cried again.
When I told Mum about my bike she offered to give me some money for a new one. I am 27 and have a vaguely professional career. I’m still her little soldier. When I put the phone down I thought about my Mum and my Nike Air Jordan’s.
I love my Mum.
I did a similar thing after walking home from having my bike stolen, walked through the front door, lay face down on my bed and cried.
HA! I didn’t really! Me!? Cry!? Don’t be a prick. I drank half a bottle of brandy and watched Babestation.