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Raining, soaring, singing

I've become addicted to Napster. I know, I know, better late than never.

But it's so great, I keep finding all these things I had on vinyl years ago and had to sell during my hungry student days, and never bothered to update into my growing CD collection.

So right now it's pouring rain, and I'm sitting in the window of my bedroom in Cambridge and listening to the perfect Rainy Day song, "Haunted (When the Minutes Drag)" by Love & Rockets, thanks to some lovely Napster user someplace. I'm having one of those perfect moments. You know the thing... where the weather, the mood and the music all come together to meet inside your head and suddenly you're overwhelmed by bliss. It almost always involves music for me, anyway.

My ex-boyfriend friend Peter told me one of his perfect moments was when he was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog - which is always beautiful anyway - and this one Miles Davis song came on the radio and suddenly, he says, the mood was complete... and the moment was perfect.

I used to have the Love & Rockets logo painted very large on the back of my leather jacket when I was 18 or 19, before I painted over it and replaced it with the huge Saturn which is still there today. The Saturn is accompanied by the academic lettering of an educational facility, ostensibly a university, entitled "UCS". Hmm, let's see... University of California... Salinas? Stanford? Sausalito? Well, it actually stands for University of the Cosmos, Saturn. Yup, I made it up. I was going to California State University Long Beach at the time... and was, perhaps, a bit disappointed with it. So I made up my own school, and I was the dean, the president, and the only student. It worked for me. My grades were excellent and there were no friggin' frat houses or sports teams.

Anyway, It's a nice warm summer rain this time. After starting this entry I spotted an opening in the rain, of brief soggy sunshine; and I hopped on my bike to head over to see Ashley. I mentioned earlier that I bought a bike, you know, from the guy named Laurie. Well, Pea Soup (as I called it) was stolen a few days ago in Cambridge, from outside a rather splendid Victorian pub. It was near closing time; I guess you gotta get home somehow, so I appreciate that the need was there for someone. Consequently my ride home turned out to be in a cab. The very sympathetic cab driver gave me the number for the police so I could file a report, which I did the next day.

The Cambridge police are very prepared for reports of stolen bicycles. The man asked for all kinds of identifying details about the bike, unfortunately including bits I hadn't even noticed the bike *had.* Sadly that will make it hard to identify. The nice policeman sighed a lot.

A few days after filing the report on the phone, I received a nice pamphlet in the post on dealing with being a victim of crime. It had all sorts of information, support lines, and was accompanied by a letter from the police chief himself, apologizing for my loss. Gotta love them English! Here in San Francisco, when about two thousand dollars' worth of checks were forged from my bank account, the policeman I reported it to told me that maybe someone would be assigned to the case; or maybe not. "Not to belittle your loss, ma'am," he said. "But if it's less than ten thousand dollars, it doesn't really warrant our investigators' time." Phuh.

So my new bike, which I did not buy from Laurie, is called Green Dragon. It's a faster and lighter bike than the rather heavy and bulky Pea Soup was, and when I ride Green Dragon, I feel that sense of freedom and joy I haven't felt since I was a kid on my yellow ten-speed. I race down the narrow Cambridge residential lanes with their row houses right up on the street. I ride in loopy zig-zags down the street, splashing in puddles and chasing cats. I do gratuitous wheelies. I feel utterly unfettered and wild and full of life, and I feel sure that the nice, reasonable residents of Cambridge are watching me and my antics, thinking, "It's simply a mode of transport; have some dignity for goodness sake." (I like to project what the English might be thinking about me at any given moment; it helps contribute to the rather neurotic self-consciousness I've cultivated here.)

I expect I'll be hanging on to Green Dragon, because when I bought Pea Soup I gave Laurie an extra five pounds for a handy-dandy black wire basket for the handlebars. Very cute. This time I skipped the basket and put down five pounds on a big, thick, plastic-coated bike chain and key. Hah, take that you thieves! I struggle a bit with all my shopping and stuff without the basket; but hey, at least I'm not walking.

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