The worst time for me to awake is about 1 - 2 hours after I get to sleep.
Especially when my name is being repeated and I'm being shaken.
It doesn't help matters when I grunt something only to hear "your car's gone."
My keys had been missing for a few days, so my reaction was subdued when I went out front to confirm that, indeed, the old black metal that was there a few hours previous wasn't. There, in fact, was exactly where it ain't.
Call police, receive unwelcome commiserations from drunken college kids neighbors, wait for the squad car. The cop (a young Latina with the prettiest dark-eyed smile that I've seen in the wee hours in years) has to clear out the congregated intoxicants out of the road before taking the report. Spring break is one of the more interesting times to live at the beach. She takes my information - that I don't even have my tag number memorized shows how unautomotive my thinking is - and makes a comment about how I must be angry.
No, I'm not. The missing piece of steel had no flesh, no blood, would never hug me back.
(Before the paperwork begins on my satori nomination, please don't steal my computer or my ipod or my bicycle. I'm attached to material things that matter.)
Now I can't sleep, so I open a Diet Pepsi and fart around on the computer. An hour later the phone rings. "We've got your car." It's less than a mile away. The neighbors there heard an engine revving loudly, and saw three yoots in hoodies pile out and run. After they "process the vehicle" she'll call me back and let me know whether I can retrieve it from the spot tonight or from the impound tomorrow.
Another half hour later the phone rings again. Drive to the corner, inspect the car, confirm that all the scratches and dings are old. The car smells like hot insulation. Starts just fine. The clutch is completely gone. Not a bit of purchase in 5 gears or reverse. I habitually reset the odometer when I fill the tank -- I later retrace my movements and determine that they rode no more than 16 miles before they couldn't move any more. Don't steal a vehicle you don't know how to drive.
Wake up the tow guy, take the groceries out of the trunk (still there!), home for a few hours sleep. Call the insurance agent in the morning to learn that comprehensive coverage has no deductible. If the stars align I'll get a new clutch at the cost of a few hours sleep.
On some level I always expected the car to be recovered -- there can't be much of a black market for 11 year old coupes with 140,000 miles. Since my mechanic assures me that it is good for another 100,000 (ten years at the rate I drive), I'll be keeping better track of my keys.