The Return to Origin

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

As a writer, there are few moments in life when a story so quizzical, so uncanny, so fated, so seemingly implausible gets laid across your lap; a story so amazing that it simply tells itself.  A-put-it-on-a-silver-platter type of story.  A story so, so….weird, that you just can’t help but to pay attention.  And sometimes, only the best of stories start with a Craigslist ad….

I thought I’d sell the She-Wolf.  So I put an ad up on Craigslist.  Now, I kinda just put it up to see if I’d get any bites.  Like a test.  This is not an easy car to just let go of.  I mean….its taken you places.

Three days later, I received an email with a photo attached in my inbox:

“Hello there.  I’m almost sure that I owned this Vanagon back in 2005.  I was living in Vancouver (B.C) when I sold it to my best buddy a few years after, right before I moved to Nova Scotia.  He then sold it last year to a French couple from France, who I guess did a cross-country trip with it to Montreal.  I don’t have the vin number and my buddy is in Mexico.
The thing is, I was always really emotionally attached to that van and I’m looking for one right now as I’ve just had a second kid who is only a few weeks old.  Instead of wasting money on a mini-van or a car, I’m allowed by the wife to go back to the origins and make it a project. 
Anyway, does this van have a big orange dent behind the sliding door?  Does it have a green Highway 4 Tofino sticker in the back window?  And the trunk, is it difficult to lock? (unless its been changed)” 

–I’m reading this email as I’m leaving work…and as I delve deeper into every paragraph, I’m practically running to the parking garage–

He continues:  “If you can prove to me that this is indeed the van I think it is, than I would be highly motivated to come down and buy, depending on your patience and your needs.  This could be a great story if you haven’t sold it yet.  Sincerely, Dimitri.” 

By now, I’ve reached the parking garage and I start walking towards my van.  Sure enough, there in the back window is a green, Highway 4 Tofino sticker.  I traced my fingers around to the side panel behind the sliding door….but there was no orange dent.  Maybe it was repaired or painted?  I suppose, the French couple from France might have been the real dead giveaway, but at this point, that could’ve just been a coincidence, right?

I’m sure French couples from France buy Vanagons in Vancouver all the time.

I needed more evidence.  How could I really prove that this was indeed his van? And then I remembered—when I cleaned the van out after I had bought it from a French couple from France, I’d found a milk crate.  There were miscellaneous car related liquids; half empty jugs of windshield wiper fluid and motor oil, and some papers.  Garbagy-type papers.  Papers I almost threw away.  But, for some reason, stuffed in the glove box instead.

At this point, I’m driving and I know it’s not safe to rifle through the glove box while trying to operate manual machinery.  I can barely contain my excitement to get home and park.

I open the glove box and start flipping through these papers; mostly old receipts of repairs done at a mechanic shop in Vancouver.  But there, on the last sheet in the stack:  January 2005.  And a name:  Dimitiri Pisano.

I rushed to my computer and replied.  “This is 100% your van!”

Doesn’t it just give you goose bumps?!  What are the odds??  This van has been a road warrior; crisscrossing the country, being passed from owner to owner…until 9 years later, a guy nostalgic for his youth and freedom decides to take a look on Craigslist, just as his van rolls back into the West Coast.  Mind you, he’s on Craigslist all the way down in Portland, Oregon nonetheless, even though he’s living back in British Columbia. And at that exact moment, I throw out a test line to see if the proverbial VW fish are biting.  It blows up my brain!  It’s like finding a long, lost relative you though was gone for good.

It’s the Fivel Mousekewitz story of Vanagons.

Conceptually, I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Theoretically, I understand that this world is so small.  But rarely does serendipity strike with such arcane accuracy.  Rarely, does this kind of magic unfold so boldly, so loudly, with such obviousness that you cannot deny that someone is holding the strings in this marionette….and it ain’t you.

So it seems that the She-Wolf will be making one last trek to her Canadian homeland this spring.  Back to the origins.  Finding her way back home.

And to Mr. Pisano:  there’s a trick to the trunk.  I can teach you.

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

The She-Wolf, circa 2005….way back when it wasn’t the She-Wolf.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kimberley Smith
    Feb 09, 2014 @ 08:43:05

    Wow! That’s it that’s all. Wow!


  2. Dad
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 10:54:17

    Coincidence?, I think not, there is more to the story…


  3. katiebachmeyer
    Feb 13, 2014 @ 10:40:25

    that’s amazing!


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