Okay, God. I get it. I work in a prison with all sorts of people who have done all sorts of things. I listen intently to the stories, even the ones that begin with "I didn't do it."
But tonight, I have my own story.
I was headed to Seattle this morning for two days of classes. My carpool buddy showed up at 6:30am so we could get on the road for the 8am class. I grabbed up my bags and books and we were out the door. So far, so good.
There's a small parking lot in front of my building, six slots. I'm #1. The #1 slot was empty. (You saw this coming, didn't you?) I looked out onto the street where several silver-colored cars were parked. None of them was my 2004 Toyota Corolla.
I went back inside and called the police. Because the police didn't get there before we had to get on the road, I cancelled the call and went to school in my buddy's car. (She has a 14-year-old Toyota. Go figure.)
I told the people in class about my car. Another woman talked about the fire at her workplace over the weekend. And a man shared the news that his wife had accepted a job in Maine and they were going to try the bi-coastal thing for a while.
When we got home at 6 tonight, I was entertaining thoughts that the thief might have had a change of heart and put my car back in its place. No such luck. So the policeman has been here-- he looked 12 but was wearing a wedding ring.
He asked about identifying marks on the car. Crunch marks on the right front panel, from the day I was moving out of the house where I'd lived for 17 years and for the first time ever, I angled the car out of the garage too sharply.
I told him my Department of Corrections ID badge was in the car. His eyebrows went up. I told him the prison where I worked. Then he wanted to know if there were any weapons in the car? A bullet-proof vest?
"I'm a chaplain," I said. "I don't use that kind of equipment." And no, it's not used to access anything. My face has to match the picture or they won't let me in. (While the badge is missing, I have to show my driver's license, then I get to wear a temporary badge--if I'm lucky, it's #1.)
He gave me a card with all the important information to relay to the insurance company. I started making a list of what's in the car that I'm really missing:
--My last can of diet Pepsi.
--My handicapped parking placard, which just cost me a $250 ticket because I forgot to hang it when I was at the bookstore a few weeks ago.
--The back seat was loaded with boxes of books headed to the prison from a local library book sale.
Everything else was just stuff.
When I go to work on Sunday, I'll put the word out that my car is missing. I'm sure someone knows someone who knows someone else who knows where my car might be.
Or maybe it will just show up again.
Like that's going to happen!