It goes without saying that these events are unnatural, and I wouldn't blame you if you thought I was making them up. But they occurred. They are the aural equivalent of a baseball player's elasticized arm bending into the stands to snatch away a certain home run. They are the impossible that happens.

To be sure, most often the best you can really hope for is the tail end of a good song that somehow, despite everything, makes it through the gatekeepers who decree that the wretched will inherit the radio dial. And that, generally, is enough to get you to turn on your radio again.

Because what you really miss, or what I really missed, was the companionship.

The radio is there. Irritating. Dumb. Assaultive. But, there. And sometimes there is all that really matters. There is comfort in there.

At a red light, I appraised the empty space. The wires dangled over its lifeless lip, like some surgery gone horribly wrong. But they were not frayed or ripped. They lay there, traumatized by the experience, no doubt, but unharmed, their silver connectors intact.

Was the thief nice - here, I'll leave things in good condition so you can easily install another. Or was he taunting me - go ahead, install another, I'll steal that one, too.

I didn't know.

I only knew that it was time to drive to an audio store and replace it. I would get one that sounded good, but not as good as the one that was stolen; in case it should happen again, I didn't want to lose as much. I would get one with a detachable faceplate and actually detach it. And I would lock my doors.

This time, I would do what I could to keep my companion.

I picked out a new radio and had it installed.

On the way home, it was like old times. I scanned, I searched, I heard nothing of interest. We, the radio and I, were like an old married couple whose conversations were less about tuning in than tuning out.