Earlier this week, my beloved motor scooter Bella was stolen from my apartment building’s parking area. It was quite the shock, particularly since I had actually removed the battery to recharge it! But gone it was when I returned home Tuesday night.
After getting over the shock, I checked with the local towing services to make sure it wasn’t towed for some reason. Then I filed a police report. At the advice of friends, I posted photos of Bella to my Facebook and on NextDoor, so others could keep an eye out, just in case she turned up. Apparently that’s exactly what happened to my friends Leyla and Jake and they got their scooter back the next day!
Fortunately, I was able to recover her a couple of days later, thanks to the eagle eye of my friend Tobiah. And a couple of days later, my local scooter shop was able to get her running again for under $400.
Basically the happiest ending I could have wished for.
It was of course a sucky thing to go through. I use Bella as my main mode of transportation to get to work, to visit friends, run errands and do all sorts of other life things. So getting used to being without her was tough.
But I also realized how blessed I am to have so many other ways of getting around my community, including two bicycles that I own, public transportation, ride sharing services, Lime scooters and bikes I can rent, Hanah’s car, and several friends who offered rides if I needed it!
The loss of my scooter would not mean that I would not be able to get to my place of employment or function in society. It would just take a little longer. For many people, losing their main mode of transportation would be so much more devastating to their lives. For me, it’s mostly just an unexpected financial burden that I could recover from fairly easily.
I am grateful for the opportunity to interrogate my attachment to the objects that I own, and how I would feel if they were gone. My computer, phone, bicycles, roller skates, clothing, bed, television are all wonderful to have in my life, but their loss would not change much about who I am or my own ability to experience joy.
I am not my things. Objects you own come and go, and that’s a good thing. What is essential is immaterial and can not be stolen.
The scooter theft also led me to appreciate the people in my life who care for me. Seeing so many folks express sympathy, advice and offers to help was so touching. Unprompted, my coworker friend Rachel came over to my desk and gave me a hug, which was so touching.
Several people offered me rides if I needed to get anywhere. Hanah let me know I could use her car when needed. My acquaintance Jill even offered to sell me her old scooter for a few hundred bucks.
My thoughts also returned to something I have been puzzling over for so long — why do people commit crimes? As someone who hasn’t so much as stolen a packet of gum, it’s just so foreign to me.
Someone or someones went to quite a bit of trouble to steal Bella. They were clearly looking for a scooter like her, and were prepared because they brought their own battery to install and knew how to break the steering lock. What circumstances in their lives led to this being they means of earning money? I presume no better options for improving their situation exist.
It just sounds like such a shitty way to have to live — to risk arrest, imprisonment, even physical harm if they are caught. So many things must have gone wrong in their situation for this to be the way they make money.
So I hold this person or people in the light, and hope that they find better means of meeting their own needs and desires. One that doesn’t cause others to suffer from their actions.