Friday, May 14, 2004

Things go away, things come back

Friday evening. It's been an eventful day. First, I woke up, got myself ready for work, walked out to my carport and saw...nothing. My first thought was, "where the heck did I leave my car?" My second thought was, "oh ****, I left it right here," staring at the empty space where my car should have been. Yes, that's right, my car was stolen.

Strangely, my reaction was very different than it was last October when it was broken into. This time, I was actually more amused than anything else. No tears, no freak outs, just laughter and acceptance. A colleague from work came and picked me up so that I could go to a meeting that I knew I had today, although I couldn't remember where or when. Turns out that meeting was cancelled, so I could have stayed home, but I'm glad that I went anyway. I got a lot of packing done (I'm changing offices) and was able to put out a surprising number of fires, too. A good day, basically. Another friend, Tony, drove me home and offered me the use of his car while he's gone for four days next week, which I graciously accepted.

I briefly thought about "rewarding" myself for having been so terribly wronged by the person that stole my car (note use of sarcasm), then decided on a comfortable compromise of having a steak and cheese sandwich at Subway, which didn't put me over calories and had the added bonus of giving me lots of nummy veggies. Still more than I should have eaten, but I was pleased with the choice, especially considering Subway is farther away than Cotijas, my favorite Mexican place.

After dinner, as I was folding laundry, the phone rang. The lovely, wonderful, underpaid San Diego Police Department had found my car and wanted to know if I could be there to pick it up in the next 20 minutes. I found out that it was about a mile and a half, mostly downhill, and quickly told them that I'd be there. I saddled up on my trusty bike...and found that the tires both needed air. I don't have a pump. Plan B...I slide out of my Birks and pull on socks, then cram my feet into my running shoes, grab the keys and go. I start out doing PowerWalk times two. My little legs were straining trying to keep up the pace. It hurt, but I kept pushing. Then, when I got to the downhill portion, I started to jog. Jogging after a steak and cheese sandwich is not fun. Jogging after a Mexican food binge would have been impossible - more proof, as if more were needed, that I'd made the right decision for dinner. I jogged for half a mile. Half a mile, folks. I haven't even walked more than casually in a month or so, and I jogged half a mile. Pain. Pain. More Pain. Once I got to the flat part of the trip, I went back to Super Power Walk, remembering that I had about 15 minutes to cover a mile and a half. The only thing that kept me going through the pain was the thought that my car was there...waiting, and I didn't want it to be towed when it was so close.

I power walked around the corner and saw three police cars, all with their lights going. I thought it odd that, in a city the size of San Diego, they'd send three cars out to recover a stolen vehicle, but I was just so glad to see they were still there that I, frankly, didn't give it much thought. As I walked toward it, I was holding my breath, waiting to see how much damage had been done. I gave the officer my license and he told me that a good samaritan had called and reported it and that they'd apprehended the culprit. It was the acquisition of said suspect that had created the need for three units, apparently. (Note that I briefly thought about asking if I could be allowed five minutes with the prisoner to vent my frustration on him verbally, then decided that might be seen as not helpful.) He asked if I knew three different people, none of which sounded familiar to me, and I soon realized why he was asking: there was absolutely no damage to my car! Not a lock popped, not a window broken, not even the ignition hot wired. Very, very odd. I wonder, privately, if it mightn't be someone associated with the collision place that fixed the lock on my car when it was damaged last fall in the break in. In any case, there was a bunch of stuff in my car that didn't belong to me, nearly everything that did belong to me, and even my beloved Dixie Chicks CD, which I'd thought was gone forever, since it was in the CD player at the time the car was stolen.

The moral of the story? I'm not really sure at this point. Perhaps I'm supposed to appreciate my little car more than I do? Mission accomplished! She's nothing fancy, but she's reliable and she gets me where I'm going. I'm also going to start using my Club again. I'd stopped using it because I'd read so many times that they are worthless, but the officer told me that the car thieves around my neighborhood are more in the joy riding variety, rather than hard core criminals. If they think my car is a little more challenging than someone else's, they might leave mine alone. We shall see.

In the meantime, I'm celebrating having a little 1996 silver Saturn sitting in my carport again and my decision to have Subway instead of Mexican. Today was a good day.

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