Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day four hundred and thirty five ... Park here.

I'm just looking for a spot to park.

Why I wasn't here hours ago when the lot was barely full, I haven't a clue.

But my car is running, running, running, huffing, coughing, wheezing, mumbling to itself ... or to me ... or to the people who cross it.

I just know it makes a lot of noise for something that moves so slow.

Oh ... there's one! 

Damn! So close. I guess he was waiting before me.

I wish I was going to that store ... look at all the spots open over there.

But that store doesn't sell what I need. I need to park in front of this entrance. I need to reassure myself that I am using my hard fought freedom of choice to enact the most time effective point of departure from the box that brought me here--my noise box--so I can enter another box--the necessity box.

I didn't drive all the way here to walk. 

Ooh! Is that person leaving? Dammit! They're just getting here too. I didn't see them going around the grid with me. How did that happen? Losers.

Maybe I'll cut over two lanes next time I go around. Maybe that'll bring me better luck. I'll just skip that aisle of cars that seem to be hemorrhaging Fords, Toyotas, Mazdas and when I get around from this side there'll be a spot.

Are they leaving? No? Just putting something in the trunk? Is it me, or do people tend to exaggerate their movements when they're just going back to drop something off ... to impress that what they are doing is an aside ... almost as if in quotes.

"I'm just putting this here. I'm not leaving. Sorry if I gave that impression. It took me like forever to get this spot. I'm just putting this here."

And then they turn and forcefully push the key fob at elbow level and move quickly away.

Where the hell did everybody come from?

Look at that guy waiting for that plum spot. How lucky is that? I wish I was him.

And all it really is is luck. It's all general admission. First come, first served. I could have just pulled into any aisle and parked somewhere in the middle and waited. And when somebody came out I would be right there, ready. 

But instead, I take the time to put myself out there, to take the chance that by pure virtue of my insistence of action that my luck will increase. And I just keep going around in circles watching car after car get spot after spot.

How much gas have I wasted just looking for a place to stop.

Meanwhile, not far off (but apparently too far for me to walk from and back to) are any number of places to stow away my ride. But the idea of safely and securely finding a spot in that part of the lot would be all for naught if on my walk to the front door I saw a spot open up right in the first row--the winners circle. Then I would be forced to watch the pleasure on the faces of the people inside the tinted windows when big money came their way--passengers pointing and saying in quick succession--almost on top of each other--"Ooh-ooh-ohh, there's one!" And all because they turned down that aisle at the right time. They didn't have to work for it. They were just there when it happened.

And the time I spend now, looking up and down row after row of irregularly aligned bumpers, I could have parked in that other lot and been already inside getting what I need. I could possibly have secured in my basket what I needed and been carefully assessing which register line I wanted to wait in--who has what in their cart, or on the belt, and which cashier looks like she knows how to bust open a roll of pennies when the time comes.

I could have been in, out, and walking confidently back to a car that was parked just far enough away so that I wouldn't get the slow-down-and-follow from the family of five in the Caravan.

"Do you think he's leaving? Honey, ask him if he's leaving ... " 

Something's going to open up soon, I can feel it.

Everybody's got to eventually have to leave, right?

I didn't drive all the way here to walk.

One more loop around ... something's gotta open up soon.

Thanks for reading,


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