Double Feature Friday: INSOMNIA and THE BICYCLE THIEF

As of Monday, Susie will have been gone to Florida for two weeks.  I am already eagerly anticipating her return to Columbus in August, especially since it’ll mean my first trip to Florida, when I go down to bring her back.

The rest of my “bachelor summer” just has to be better than my Thursday night-Friday morning has been.  On Thursday, I spent the night at Central Ohio Sleep Medicine.  My psychiatrist is also a sleep specialist, and at my last appointment, he and I decided it was best if we re-evaluated my sleep situation from the ground up.  (He is a nationally recognized expert on sleep, and here is his Website.)

The sleep technician woke me up at 6 a.m. yesterday with the news that my sleep apnea is quite severe.  It is so bad that I stopped breathing completely at least 50 times during the night.  She gave me a C-PAP, nose pillows, and a ton of documentation about how to operate it.  (The model is quite compact.  Were it not for the hose, you would think it was a clock radio.)

I am not wild about the prospect of sleeping while hooked up to a machine every night, including having to wear a chin strap so my jaw stays closed.  I anticipate a nightly bedtime procedure cum ritual that resembles a pilot’s pre-flight checklist.  Not a good thing, since I tend to stay up until I’m about ready to drop over from exhaustion.

I haven’t slept a full night with the machine yet.  I left a call on the medical equipment provider’s voice mail because I had some issues with the machine last night, which meant I finally went to sleep around dawn sans the machine.  (Much as I hated to do it, I called the bookstore and told them I’d be unable to come in.  That’s about $64 in pay to which I bade farewell.)

But enough about my sleep, and the night at the clinic in Gehenna Gahanna.  (I love telling people the sleep clinic is in the Valley of Hinnom.)  The worst was yet to come.

I arrived back home around 9:30.  The first thing I saw was that my trike was gone.  I went around to the side of the house, and sure enough, my cable lock was still there, but someone had snipped it evenly in half.  The ends were not frayed.  I don’t know what the thief used, but it cut through a Master cable lock as easily as if it was Kleenex.

I took Susie to see this at Studio 35 about a year and a half ago.  Oh, the irony!

I logged a police report online, because using the Columbus Police Department’s Website would take less time and be less frustrating than wading through the voice mail hell you experience when you dial (614) 645-4545.  I then went to several places in the neighborhood that sell used bikes, described the bike, and asked them to be on the lookout.  I did the same thing online to the Third-Hand Bicycle Co-Op and the Facebook page for the World Naked Bike Ride.

I am guardedly optimistic I will see the bike again.  Several people pointed out to me that an adult tricycle would be very conspicuous in Columbus, so now I have many pairs of eyes looking out for it.  If anyone tries to sell it, bike stores will notify the police.  This was Pride Weekend, and although I missed the Pride Parade downtown, I went to the post-parade festivities in Goodale Park and scrutinized every bike in the bike corral.  I came up with a goose egg.

I have not always been in the position of being able to do this, but later on Friday afternoon, I went to Walmart’s Website and ordered a new trike.  Like the cherry red one, it’s a 26″ Schwinn Meridian.  The only difference (that I could tell from the Website) is that it is blue, rather than red.  I may be overreacting, and succumbing a little to paranoia, but I asked Walmart to ship the bike to me care of a friend, so, if the thief decides to pay a return visit, he/she won’t be tempted by the box on my porch when FedEx Ground delivers.

So, another session of Build-a-Bike looms in the near future.  It may have been rash to immediately whip out the debit card and order a new trike, but riding it has been therapeutic for me, and it improves my mood better than the 900 mg of lithium I take every day.  Even when I go out to run a simple errand, I take the long way around and try to explore unfamiliar streets.  (As a gesture of faith, I am using the present tense.  I hope to be on three wheels again by this weekend.  I want to take my new trike to Comfest.)

This time around, the trike will remain in my dining room when I have it at home.  I will also buy a thick U-lock for it, a lock that a thief will really have to work at to break.

And I hope to have more thoughts and accounts borne out of the rides I make on the blue Meridian.  But first it has to arrive here in Columbus, and then be assembled.  I checked my bank account–the amount has been deducted from my balance, and now I await delivery.

Susie Turned 13 at 13:13

Today is Susie’s 13th birthday, but being a stickler for accuracy, I didn’t consider her to have become a teenager until 1:13 p.m., which is the actual time of her birth.  (I do the same thing for myself.  My time of birth was 12:34 in the afternoon.  Very easy to remember: one two three four.)  I’ve neither lived in Europe nor served in the military, so the 13:13 idea didn’t spring to mind right away; I think of it as 1:13 p.m.

My urge to chronicle manifested itself at Susie’s birth.  Steph delivered Susie by Cesarean section after 38 hours of labor at Grant Hospital.  Her midwife Tanya (Susie’s godmother, and a dear friend of ours since before the birth) and I were at Steph’s head during most of the delivery, and Steph’s belly was hidden from view by a sterile shield and screen.  When the doctor actually delivered Susie, Tanya grabbed the single-use camera from the shirt pocket of my scrubs, leaned over the screen, and snapped the picture–Susie in full scream, still connected by umbilical cord.

I grabbed the camera from Tanya, and turned around to the wall clock and took a picture of it.  However, easily the most memorable picture is when I am holding Susie, who has been cleaned off and wrapped in blankets, in front of Steph.  At the time the picture was taken, Steph was asking, “Have they cut me open yet?  Have they cut me open?”  I was answering the question by holding the newborn Susie in front of her.

Thirteen is a milestone year, like those that are multiples of 5 or 10.  If we were Jewish, Susie would have been bat mitzvah a year already–considered adult in the Jewish community.  The beginning of the years that end with -teen are significant, and she’s gotten hers off to a good start.  She and Steph baked and frosted a cake, and Susie’s best friend G is here.  I’m typing this entry while they’re in the next room playing Mario Party 8 on the Wii.  They’re going to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince later on tonight.

Steph has been the smart one.  She’s exhausted, and has an early day tomorrow, so she’s opted to hit the sack early.  One of the advantages of our sleeping separately is that I can retire at whatever hour I choose and not have to worry about waking her.

Susie and I went to see Easy A at Studio 35 last week.  Tomorrow night, we’re going there for a free showing of The Bicycle Thief.  The British Film Institute says it’s one of 50 films that you should see before you turn 14.  I’m 33 years late, and Susie will make it with a year to spare.  I posted a notice about it on Facebook, and one person had a very astute observation.  If this is a film you should see pre-age 14, why is its only showing at 9:30 p.m. on a school night?  I also doubt it ever appeared on The CBS Children’s Film Festival.  (Whenever I tuned into that on Saturday, they always seemed to be showing The Red Balloon.)

The birthday girl, in a picture taken last summer.
She’s holding the infant daughter of her first babysitter.