Tuesday, August 23, 2016
I dozed off for a couple of hours and woke up when I heard Kari getting ready for work. Sheepishly, I slunk out of my room and recounted the events of my previous evening. Our original plan for the day had been for Kari to leave work early, then the two of us heading to Dodgers Stadium for the evening. Clearly, this was not going to happen. I had to get back to San Diego to find my car. Although it meant a later night that she had planned, Kari agreed to drive me back and help me with the search.
After Kari was whisked away to work via carpool, I spent my morning scanning Google Earth on my phone, virtually retracing my steps. I racked my brain, trying to recount every detail of last night’s journey, but nothing was ringing a bell for me. I was half-expecting the San Diego Police to call and tell me that my car was found and towed away. Well, if that happened, at least I would finally know where my car was.
With my stomach still in knots, I picked up Kari in her car (after promising that I wouldn’t lose that one too) and together we began our mission to find my lost vehicle. As we headed south, I slowly began to relax. I believe this was due in part to a call from Kari’s mother who had learned about my situation and wanted to let me know that she was praying for me. Kari kept up a steady flow of light-hearted conversation as we jammed along to Twenty-One Pilots’ “Heathen” (“All my friends are heathens, take it slow/Wait for them to ask you who you know”) We weren’t quite sure what the song meant, but an inside joke was born, nonetheless!
I made my inglorious return to San Diego around 5:00 pm. My frustration began to mount anew as I scanned the very same streets from yesterday and saw nothing to clue me in. Desolately, I directed Kari to drive up one street, then another. I kept up a running commentary of all the details that I remembered. There was a parking lot right next to the garage. There was construction nearby. There was that plaza. It was by sheer chance (or answered prayer) that we turned up a street that I hadn’t explored last night. The surroundings were becoming more and more familiar to me.
“Wait,” I said, looking to my left. “Construction.” We began to pass by a parking lot.
“There!” I shouted, pointing at a parking garage to our right. “Turn here…I think that’s it!”
By the time we pulled into the garage, and shelled out $25 to get in (which I gladly paid), I was positive we were in the right place.
And there it was, right where I had left it the night before.
It had not been stolen, towed away or even ticketed for being there overnight. It was a joyous reunion! As we left the parking garage, we made it a point to find the nearest street sign so we wouldn’t forget: 11th Street and Imperial.
“I’ll probably remember that intersection for the rest of my life,” I mused.
With the heavy weight of anxiety lifted and the whole night open, we decided to go to the Padres game. After all, the Cubs were still there and I would never miss an opportunity to see them again. We purchased a couple of right field upper deck tickets, and still having plenty of time before the game, we stopped for dinner at The Kebab Shop (which was highly recommended on Yelp).
Initially, we weren’t particularly impressed with the restaurant. It looked rather unremarkable and there were few costumers, but then we had the food. Oh, was it good! I had my first taste of a very excellent shawarma and topped it off by stealing a few of Kari’s falafels.
The game that followed was equally excellent. The Cubs won again, this time 5-3.
It was a great time overall, and Kari deserved much of the credit. Her willingness to help me in my misadventure, along with her efforts to keep my spirits up along the way was an immeasurable help and comfort to me.