Had it–hid it–and lost it–in San Francisco

David Baker powers Margarita Blenderbike ( my bike & soon-to-be-lost left pannier in background)

Big Weekend.
Visit from a D.C. wombat (Anna Kelso, whose bicycle life is noted here) on Thursday, bound for a big race somewhere.
Friday, finally unfurled a gift certificate sent two years ago, on the occasion of my 50th b.d. from a secret 1970’s-era admirer (massage in a bottle!) Sweaty and disheveled, I locked up ye olde Breezer and entered a veritable harem of women silently gliding in and out of steamy rooms, scrubbing salt into their skin, basking in the calm of Kabuki Hot Springs. All sizes, ages, durometers. Even a couple of different colors but primarily pale.
Then a spin downtown to David Baker & Partners architecture firm, where I got to learn how to blend a margarita on the back of David’s extracycle (I think that was it, see him on board in accompanying picture that isn’t “accompanying” close enough).
It was an unusuallly temperate San Francisco evening.
a couple hundred people came to support Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian rights non-profit. It was a perfect mix of urban professionals and ultra-urban, rather much younger bikers from the SF Bike Coalition whose annual budget is enviably plump.
The atrium was the perfect bike parking spot for an early arrival, and for safekeeping I put my tiny red wallet in the pannier pocket, rather than letting it lie in my un-cinched Messyger bag.
Bustled out around nine, and stayed at Lynne B’s fine old tyme house in Bernal Hts.
Next day I noticed my left pannier was …absent.
It had bounced off (a well-loaded pannier, even when spring-loaded onto the rack, can boink off, and if the contents are soft, you have no clue…)

I didn’t notice the loss til ten hours later.
New gyrations, starting with asking the first cop I saw on Valencia “what do people do when they find your purse if it drops off your bike?”
The cop in the passenger seat said :”they keep it”.
“OK, so no protocol, no city l’austin found, etc?”
“Well, there is this…” and he proffered a scrap of paper with all the main police departments listed with their phone numbers. Lost items, buried at the bottom of the list.
“They are only open during regular business hours!”

“Thank you!” i mimicked cheer, and pedaled despondently away early Saturday morning, toward a walletless weekend.
At least a DESERVING person got my 150 bux. I usually carry twenty clams max in that thing.
I broke that rule when I got paid for a recent private session…Never having lost a wallet, I didn’t realize that any deviation from routine gets the god’s attention and obliges them to sharpen up their Lesson Stick and whack out a lively tattoo of cascading Consequences.
Got home to hear a message on my machine.
Someone mumbled that “I ‘”might have lost something”.
After a day of non-answers, I reached a homeless gentleman who says he’d like to return my stuff…but ….
after I suggested he drop it at the local ‘scarbucks’ rather than take it to me personally (“I’d sure like a trip out of the city” he hinted unwisely) I realized he wasn’t kidding when he said he was lonely, six years under a bridge is a bitch, and any type of relationship is a human connection… and got the feeling i was going to get a taste of the ol’ dangling wallet trick (the victim bends over to pick it up and the perp tugs on a string. A chase ensues ) to get a person to become Very Interested.
It’s only been two days, and each “I’ll take it there in an hour’ has become a daylong vigil with no result.
Silly to care about a wallet, esp when it wasn’t stolen (I’ve neither lost a wallet nor had one swiped, i’ve led a rather charmed life).

I called visa, library and DMV and began the process of Letting Go . Like the red one, the new (used) billfold has “if found, please call 459-0980…Win Generous Five Dollar Reward!” written in thick black marker.
My bet is the fellow won’t want to part with it in case I change my mind and decide to meet with him.
Any guesses out there?

~ by jacquiephelan on April 21, 2008.

One Response to “Had it–hid it–and lost it–in San Francisco”

  1. ..might offer the person so fondly holding your wallet hostage …Gordon Biersch stein, the pillow and fresh skivvies, in no particular order……?? & if that fails throw in the life time supply of pharma rep note pads; that will do it !

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