Some joker stole my gravel bike last week. As any even casual observer of my existence can tell you, that is akin to stealing if not my actual child, then at least a neighborhood kid of whom I am very fond. It was, on the heels of several other minor tragedies that have lately befallen me and my kith and kin, a blow. Particularly galling was that the loss occurred on the same day that I had spent gallivanting about the Valley on that steel steed, as happy as one can be to suffer and cruise and rattle and speed.
I am not naïve enough to believe that Edwards is immune to crime. The specific corner from which my bike was pilfered is renowned for velo-theft, but also offers tater tots, so if one loves riding bikes and fried potatoes and beers with friends, which I most certainly do, it is a difficult place to avoid. The larger Riverwalk community also had a tough week in a criminal sense, with break-ins at cherished local establishments and a hail of bullets sprayed in places that feel like home. These are deep and troubling violations of the sanctity of this town.
Most of us arrived here buoyed by the fantasy of a life apart from reality, a tall tale sustained by our conscious choice to gloss over problems. I had to hear about the errant gunfire from a friend at one of the targets; I wonder how many of you all even knew how close we were to tragedy. This is not an anti-gun screed, per se, because there are not enough words in my vocabulary to discuss how disgusted I am by our abject inability to break free from the hostage of the gun lobby and the dolts who support it. Yes, that is an open invitation to write to me and share your deranged thoughts on (I will at least give you non-hunting/sporting) gun ownership.
But, I digress; I will let you decide whether it was purposeful. My concern as concerns the recent spate of crimes is that they are lost to the speedy news cycle, by the incentives of our 800-pound gorilla to bury any negative information, and to our collective resistance to acknowledging that we live in, at the very least, a quasi-reality. I am one of the foremost ignorers of actual life consequences and my penance is to have that veil pierced in a way that makes me yet again realize how lucky I am that my problem was petty theft and not murder or the other violent ends suffered by humans here, there, and everywhere.
I may not be naïve, but I am perhaps dumb or smart enough to believe that Edwards should be different, can be different, will be different. So many people here have checked in on the status of my bicycle that I cannot help but feel warmed in the heart. The proletariat of this community is its foundation and its conscience and its bulwark against the excesses of either end of the socioeconomic spectrum. It is a place that, despite the alarming salvos of bullets, is worth protecting, is worth toiling to make better. But we must call out the goofballs and the miscreants and the haughty seasonal interlopers when they misbehave, as we would censure our own. Most importantly, we cannot believe in the fantasy unless we have done enough work to make that fiction a reality.