Roundabout almost exactly 11 years ago today (I thought you said you’d never forget) I laid down my Nextel and walked away.
In the weeks and months that followed I experienced a few flashes of phantom ass pocket u-lock syndrome (PAPULS) which as you know, is a very specific form of phantom nostalgia syndrome (PNS) that affects former bike messengers.
You know those rose colored glasses that pop up in retrospect? I chucked those long ago. I can cherry pick memories from the good old days but I won’t say it was all fun and games.
The nostalgia wore off sooner and sooner with each time I quit and came back.
Q: What did the messenger say when he stopped drinking beer?
A: This job sucks.
Today I’m looking back over my jacked up right shoulder. Looking towards Junior and Junior Junior and wondering how eleven years went by. Asking myself, how did I get here?
During this little global pandemic thing I stopped toting around any lock at all for a year or so because there was no place to go, before or after work. It was neither here nor there. It was only here or there.
These days my u-lock is along for the ride swimming around all the way at the bottom of an Ortlieb backpack. It gets used at the following locations:
- Big Time Brewery
- Columbia City Ale House
- Northlake Tavern
- my dentist’s office
All of this may just be a thinly veiled excuse to once again draw your attention to my favorite Ortlieb messenger backpack model: