I haven't lived by myself very much. Growing up, there's family. In college, if there weren't roommates, there were hall and housemates. After college, I lived with a series of boyfriends and roommates, interspersed with short periods of actually living in a house or apartment without roommates. While I enjoyed these times of solitude, having all the space be my own, and the lack of psychic noise, having someone around wasn't really a bad thing.
For one of these living alone adventures, I lived in a condo I had just bought. The complex had four building and sufficient underground parking that every condo had a spot. I had what I considered the best spot: the one right in front of you as you came down the stairs from the complex, minimum distance, minimum effort.
And, maximum target.
One morning, after unlocking my car and hopping in, I noticed something wrong out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to look, I found a garage door opener sitting on the passenger seat. Now, my car had been broken into before, resulting in a few thousand dollars worth of damage, a destroyed dashboard, a broken seat, and an amazing story of my friend Dan Frumin chasing down the would-be thief down streets, over fences, around corners, with his roommates in pursuit in a police car watching the merry chase around the streets and backyards of Pasadena. A story worth telling over bonfires and beers.
This time, however, the only evidence of breakin was the remote.
I jumped out of the car, left the door open, ran upstairs and called the police. They came out, dusted the car for prints, and looked for the car jack that came with the car. Honda car jacks were (and possibly still are) the scissor jacks, which can effectively be used to spread fence bars for breaking into, oh, parking garages to steal cars. I talked with the officer for a while, becoming less and less assured that anything could be done about the attempted theft of my car.
Six weeks later, they caught the guy whose prints were on my car, in the process of stealing another car. He was part of an Asian gang from Los Angeles that were stealing cars in Pasadena where it was easier to steal them. Like a small Honda was worth that much effort.
So, today, as I was hopping into my car, I was reminded of that whole event when I turned around to look over my shoulder before backing up, and saw something shiny sitting on the back seat of my car. I sat there, staring at the 2"x3" shiny metal, thinking, "What is that?" Note the obvious level of stun in that question: there were no curse words.
I hopped out of the car, hustled around to the back seat, passenger side door, opened it and grabbed the silver object. I quickly realized it was a business card holder.
I opened it and realized, to my joy, it belongs to Mike.
Car still safe.
Mike, I have your pile of business cards.