As I was leaving for work this morning, I scanned the row of parking spaces in front of my building and couldn't find my car. Huh! I thought. I was sure I parked out front last night. It was a noteworthy memory, because I usually park behind the building. But not seeing my car there, I walked round to the back lot and looked for it. It definitely wasn't there, either.
So I walked up the sidewalk where a row of 12 parking spots begins in front of my building. I had a mental picture of my car being parked just past the middle of this group of spaces. But as I walked along, I looked at every single car parked there - and there was one in every space - but I did not see my car. I did not see anything remotely like my car - not the year, make, or model; not even the color or body type.
I kept walking, thinking perhaps I had parked in the next group of spaces down the street, perhaps my memory wasn't as sharp as it should be. My car wasn't there either. I was starting to plan what to say to my boss to ask him for the morning off due to car theft, when I thought: "With all these nicer, newer, bigger cars here, who would swipe my old piece of junk?"
Despondent and baffled, I stepped out into the street and started walking home. This more direct route from the second, farther-off parking area, took me past the other side of the same parking spaces I had passed earlier. This time, I spotted my car, parked exactly where I had expected it to be, in the seventh of twelve spaces counting from the front of my building.
I can't explain how I could fail to recognize the car I have owned for the past eight years when I was looking right at it. Either I walked right past where it was supposed to be, where it actually was, and ignored it even while I was very carefully looking for it... or the universe borrowed it for a quick spin, and returned it while my back was turned. You be the judge!