a welcome home

"Ma'am, is that your car?" a guy asked me as I approached my little Civic.

It was around 11:30 last night, I had just gotten back from my trip to LA. I knew before saying "yes" that something had happened to my car. I just had this premonition even before I left, going back and forth with my decision to park it on the street close to my apartment building, and eventually deciding to go the cheaper route since I've already done it before and nothing happened to my car anyway. But the feeling that something bad was going to happen stayed with me and I even called my cousin over the weekend so he could check my car. He did and everything was fine.

That is, until yesterday. The guy, who turned out to be a fireman, told me that there was a fire in the apartment building next to mine earlier that evening and someone had backed into my car. I looked around the dark street and saw two fire trucks close to the intersection as well as charred pieces of wood scatterred at the sidewalk. I must have been really tired because I didn't even notice the smell of smoke/fire when I first got there.

"I think he left a note and his contact info on your windshield," the fireman said. I hurriedly went to grab the piece of paper on my windshield and sighed when all I read was "Bumped your left rear." Just that, no phone number. Again, I was too tired to feel anything and resigned to the fact that this is the price that I have to pay with street parking. It could have been worse.

The fireman, on the other hand, was angry and said that he could help me find out who the person was because the guy was a part of the emergency response team. He gave me a phone number for the city fire department. I thanked him and said, "I will follow up on it tommorrow", not even thinking about the dent on my car.

Later, while I unpacked my suitcase, I realized that it was exactly a year ago since I left LA to move to San Francisco. And how strange that there was also a fire then. A huge forest fire along Highway 5 which resulted to 10 hours of heavy traffic until we finally drove across the Bay Bridge right to the city. What's more, we arrived at around 11:30 p.m. too.

Isn't it amazing how life takes us to these little circles? That at the end of each journey we often find ourselves exactly in the same spot where we started? My trip to LA was in so many ways an affirmation of my decision to move here. I still miss my friends and the life that I had there, especially the clinic and working with children and their familes but that chapter in my life is already closed. And here, in this city that I now call home, another chapter continues.

Update: I went back to my car and found a business card stuck at the bottom of the windshield. I must have missed it last night because it was too dark. Wish me luck.


  1. Sorry to hear about your car. We had a fire in our apartment complex this week too. It is always scary to come close to losing everything.

  2. I get the feeling of your post! Coincidence has a funny way of presenting itself. Good luck with your car!

  3. hi autumn, thanks for dropping by! and sorry to hear about the fire in your apartment complex. that must have been scary. glad yours was spared though.

    thank you gilson! the guy who hit my car hasn't returned my phone call yet so we'll see. the damage was not as bad as i thought it was.