Most mornings, after dropping our daughter off at school, I drive to Point Holmes, our local car park/ocean walk/boat launch area which is a quick 2 minutes from the school. I just sit and relax for 10-15 minutes, watching the seagulls fly around, and boats putter about the lovely expanse of emerald waters of The Georgia Strait. It's a great way to fill the lungs with salty fresh air and expel the groggy demons of the night...and start the day right.
Point Holmes beach is quite long, stretching on for miles, and the parking or sitting areas spread along the shoreline give ample room for private moments, with a wide open berth conducive to not getting in anyone's face or invading their bubble, so to speak.
We ocean-ooglers and salt-air suckers like our space.
This particular day, it was a tad windy outside and I decided to find a good angle to park facing the ocean, stay in my little car and just roll down the window. The beach was completely dead and there wasn't a soul around, land or sea (which was very unusual), so I chose a perfect position and cut the motor. The rising sun was gorgeous but bright, so I lay my head back, closed my eyes and took a deep breath, trying to convince myself that the sharp tang of rotting fish and seaweed that sometimes rolled off the tide was actually quite ...um...'invigorating'. Like a nasal mud bath.
It was after a few solitary moments of peace that I heard the crunch of wheels on gravel. A vehicle was pulling in close to me on the passenger side, and parking. Ah well, I thought ...no harm done...there are always a few people out jogging, seeking calm or Tim Hortoning around this place. Out of curiosity, I cracked open an eye and lazily peeked over to see who else was sharing my prime view.
Imagine my initial surprise when I noticed that the car that had parked next to me had REALLY parked next to me. It was only two hand spans away. It was a wonder it hadn't scraped my door. I closed my eye and thought about that for a second. Then I opened both eyes and took a better look.
Now imagine my next surprise when I realized that the car next to me was orange, the same color as my wee Tigger (we always name our cars...makes them family) and not a common color on the roads around our little town. It looked to be close to the same make and model as well (ours is a KiaRio5), small, compact, new-ish and 4 door. It wasn't exactly the same, but very close. Hmmm...
I turned to look back at the water again, my mind humming with a 'this is so weird' sensation; but not quite an alert. I scanned the parking area and beach again and nope...nobody around. Just two small co-joined twin orange cars. How funny this would look to a passerby, I thought with a half-smile.
Then my smile faded as my Spidey-senses started to tingle.
I was alone, on a lonely beach with a stranger parking up my ass in a copy-cat car. They had popped my bubble! Were they just sociable and needed to be 'near' someone? Did they think they had to park in some particular order? Had someone been following my habits and plan this to freak me out...or worse? The latter seemed crazy even to me. Who would buy a orange car just to play a joke or kidnap me? Neither option was profitable. My imagination was on over-drive and I needed to take it down a notch.
After half a minute, I decided to get a good look at the driver and see if the natives were hostile. A friendly wave or a kind smile would surely put me at ease and I could lay back and continue my daydream about wild jungle sex with Sean Bean (dressed as Boromir from Lord of The Rings, of course) which is how I usually like to start my day. I bent over and took a quick gander to the right, hoping I wouldn't embarrass him/her or myself by looking snoopy or psychotic.
The driver was alone, sitting ramrod straight in her seat and staring unblinkingly straight ahead at the ocean. She looked middle-aged and had short gray hair and wore a black top. I sat back quickly and swallowed hard.
I have short gray hair and was wearing my favorite black top. And I hate to admit it, but I too am considered middle aged. And I was aging quicker by the second!
Holy shit! That was beyond weird! My Spidey-senses were on full alert now and bells were ringing in my ears! I tried not to panic and thought to myself that coincidences happened all the time (and more often that not to me, especially, come to think of it) so best not to get so carried away. Maybe I should pop out and knock on her window and share the amazing coincidence of it all. It would make a good story for us both to share with friends!
But my heart started to thump and scream like a crowd at a bullfight and my 6th sense gave me a sharp bird-kick to the forehead: HELLO? Aren't you supposed to trust me? Same car; same hair; same clothes; same ocean. POPPED BUBBLE!!!
I decided to check her out one more time and see if she made eye contact. It was just a woman in a car for God's sake. I was being ridiculously paranoid. I had been so careful making the initial peek look nonchalant and casual, I didn't remember many details, so I made a bargain with myself: if she looked friendly, I would be mature and stay put to enjoy the rest of my respite. If there was anything else 'Denise' about her, then bye-bye.
Nervously, I re-adjusted my gold rimmed glasses and turned to take a bold Kodak look at the woman next to me and lo and behold...the straw that broke the camel's back hit me straight in the face: she was wearing glasses. Were they gold-rimmed? My eyes froze in their sockets so I don't recall.
I don't know about you, but I don't need to be hit with a baseball bat to take a hint. Heart firmly stuck in my throat, I smoothly turned to my ignition, switched it on, backed up gently and got the Hell out of there as fast as humanly possible without laying rubber or giving Tigger a heart attack. I checked my rear view mirror all the way home and sat in my driveway completely unhinged for about 10 minutes before I could get out and go in the house. What in all that is Holy was that all about? A coincidence bordering on insanity...like getting struck by lightning twice or buying winning million dollar lottery tickets 3 times in a row? (*or nobody discovering that Tori Spelling and Dennis Rodman are actually twins separated at birth?). Was there a Mother Ship hovering somewhere watching to see if their bait was going to catch any curious and STUPID humans? Makes one wonder...
Over-reaction? Perhaps. Immature? Maybe. Twilight Zone/Freaky Friday-like. Absolutely. What would YOU have done?
Personally, I'm just happy I didn't bespoil myself and ruin a good pair of pants. However, that might have convinced the aliens that I wasn't much of a catch after all and they'd have tossed me back...