Mar/Apr 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 2 Fiction |

Don’t Let Your Bicycle Get Taken by a Thief

I only sit in two places when I go to Vera's Thai Extra and one is in the window booth and the other is the table in the center, because from both places I can watch my bicycle. I developed a bad habit of riding around without my lock, but a lock means nothing in this town where a dozen bicycles are lifted every day. I ride the very bike my wife gave me our last Christmas together, which is now ten years, and it's a Schwinn Voyager, which if you look it up you will see immediately it is an old man's bicycle, and I love it. I happen to be an old man. The sprockets and chain are rusted from the sea air; it's a feature of the bikes in this town. When I ride the boardwalk down to Magnolia, I roll it out to the beach through the sand and take a little swim. It's funny: you're out in the surf and every two waves you look back at your old bike. So I'm sitting at the middle table because Edward is folding napkins on the window table and it's early, just five o'clock on a sunny day and I

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Ron Carlson is the author of six story collections and six novels, and his fiction has appeared in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Harper's, and many other magazines and journals. He is the director of the Graduate Program in Fiction at the University of California, Irvine, and lives in Huntington Beach, CA. Photo credit: UCI Communications Bureau/Christine Byrd.

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