Halfway through the second movie, I was suddenly paralyzed by anxiety. The moving images in front of me suddenly did not matter.
I left my expensive light on my bike. Outside. In the public eye.
Quickly, scenarios ran through my head. Do I walk outside? Do I try to excuse through the throngs of movie watchers? Do I disrupt this film viewing—a film that may be only shown once in the states?
Maybe nobody took it, I hoped. It’s probably stolen by now.
So I sat there trying to let the moving images seep into my consciousness. It was a depressing film—about the poverty and struggle in war-torn region of the Philippines—about the harsh reality of old tradition, gender roles and financial burdens.
I had a first world problem…that was in no comparison to the strife I was seeing on the silver screen. I lived in a country of peace, stuffing myself well in the upper middle class…as a true yuppie in an urban city. I was sitting in comfortable seats in an artsy independent theater—temperature-controlled. Safe.
But nonetheless, after the film was over, I quickly mentioned my reasons and rushed outside.
It was gone. The bracket and the light. I cursed myself for forgetting because this was the first time. Technically the first that I left it there. It felt dirty suddenly. I didn’t like that someone had touched my bike and unscrewed the bracket. Someone’s filthy immoral fingers took it. With the intention of taking something that was not rightfully theirs. Did they rationalize by—she should have never left it—she deserves the punishment Or was it simply—this would sell well on craigslist?
I still have trouble riding that bike, knowing that someone touched it. Touched it inappropriately. Taking it from me. Violation. It’s miniscule. But the anger is inside me.
Just for a bike light. Lighting my way in the darkness.