Parking is a Bitch

It’s too dark to take a decent picture so here it is, prompt number twelve:

You have just swallowed your pride and done something you didn’t want to do. Your friend wants to know why. The two of you are driving around an almost-full parking garage looking for a space for the friend’s oversize pickup. Write the scene.

“There’s one,” I say, pointing at a space at the end of the row.

“That’s handicapped parking,” she replies as she drives right by the space.

“Well, this truck’s pretty much handicapped,” I mumbled.

“What?”

“In case you haven’t noticed, it won’t fit anywhere. If physically challenged is the determining factor for being able to park in the handicap zone, you’ve pretty much managed that one.” I was getting sick of this truck, sick of driving up and down the rows of cars, the rows of full parking spots built only for tiny hybrids. They should have had a sign that said, “Toy Cars Only, all Full Sized Vehicles Are Shit Out of Luck. Stop Destroying the Environment,” at the entrance to the garage to ward off people like us.

“Wow, you’re pissy today,” she snaps.

“I wouldn’t be if you drove a normal human vehicle, not one for five hundred pound rednecks! We’ve been trying to park for half an hour already.”

She turns the corner, starts going down another row. A row I’m pretty sure we’ve already been down. Yes, there’s that same red Miata.”

“Give up already, we’ve already been down here!”

My friend looks at me, her hands at the proper ten and two position. “What are you talking about?”

I point. “Right there. That tiny red convertible. We’ve already passed it once.”

She stared, confused. I want to shake her.

“Remember? He was like, fifty-something, walking with some twinkie with fake boobs? We discussed the fact that red convertibles were the token mid life crisis vehicle for lame-ass losers who couldn’t get a real life twenty years ago?”

My friend stared at me. “My dad has that same car, remember? He just bought it last week?”

I snort. “Along with his girlfriend’s new tits?”

She slams on the brakes.

“What the hell is your problem?”

“Your goddamn truck and its inability to fit into a normal sized parking spot! Seriously! Why so many goddamn tires in the first place? Who needs four in the back! Why are two not good enough?”

She slammed on the brakes and leaned her head on the steering wheel, taking some deep breaths. The kind of breaths we were taught in yoga class to calm down. I nearly poked her, to pull her out of that damn breathing. I was waiting for her to yell back, to tell me to go to hell, to stop being such a bitch. I needed her to do it. Those damn breaths were taking that away from me.

A horn honked behind us. At least, I assumed that’s what it was. It sounded more like a fairy fart. High pitched, squeaky, the kind that made your ears hurt.

She waved and mumbled, “Okay, okay, I’m going,” as she took her foot off the brake and began moving forwards once more.

“You should have just gone into reverse and crushed that stupid thing. Who can even fit into those stupid mini cars anyways?”

She was quiet. This wasn’t a good sign. Usually, we could bitch about other people and their stupid shit together, and it always made things better. When she didn’t join me, I knew what came next was going to suck.

It wasn’t until she got out of the garage and went peeling up the ramp, into the bright air and onto the roof, that she spoke again.

“You went and saw your brother today, didn’t you.”

I snapped my head to stare at her. “No!”

She rolled her eyes at me. “Yeah, okay.”

I stared straight ahead. I could feel the tension building in my jaw, just in front of my ears. My TMJ had gotten so bad since all this stuff started that all I had to do was bite and the pain raged. Only, in this case, it was kind of comforting.

“You want to talk about it?” Her voice was quiet, the previous anger gone, replaced with sympathy. Sympathy I did not want.

“I told you, I didn’t go. So there’s nothing to talk about.” The red lights flashed on the back of a black lexus. “There! There’s one! He’s backing out.”

She leaned forward, narrowing her eyes, doing her little inspection, checking to see if her big rig’s fat ass could fit into that tiny space.

“You can fit,” I said, my patience at an all time low. “Just cram it in.”

She shook her head. “I don’t know…”

“Oh, Jesus Christ, Cindy!” I yelled. “The previews have already started. I don’t want to miss the movie too!”

She pushed the air out of her nose in one quick motion. “Ha!” I thought. “Where’s your yogi breath now?”

She crept forward, inspecting as the Lexus pulled out, ever so slowly. The grey-haired diver probably shoulder checked about fifteen times in the space of a foot.

“C’mon, buddy!” I said under my breath, tapping my fingers on the passenger door.

Finally, finally, the senior citizen, who should have his license revoked if he’s that terrified to back up, pulled out. Cindy put her signal light on and waited as he crept forward, because why would you drive faster than ten in a parking lot?

“Okay, go,” I said the moment he’d cleared the space.

Cindy moved about an inch. “I think it’s too small.”

“Oh, for fucks sake!”

A yellow four door car with flashy rims and pounding bass ripped into the spot, four teenagers laughing their asses off that they’d stolen the spot right under our noses.

“Now we’ve lost it. We might as well go home.”

“I wouldn’t have fit anyway,” Cindy said as she drove forward, completely unperturbed by the little shits in the pimped out import.

“You could have tried,” I mumbled.

“Or, we could have brought your car and none of this would be happening,” Cindy said in that all-knowing tone. “Right? Because you still have your car, don’t you? You would not have possibly lent it to your con artist brother so he could get outta town and away from the heat, right?”

I glared at her. “No,” I said. “It’s in the, getting an oil change.”

“I thought you did that last week?”

“Pfft, no. And why would you know when I take my car in for an oil change?”

“Because you called me from inside the jiffy lube to tell me how hot the guy was, laughing at the fact that you let him change your oil before you even gave him your number, like the total nerd you are.”

“Oh,” I snickered for just a moment. “That is kinda funny though. Hey, buddy, get your ass under there and change my oil, would-ya?”

She stared at me like I was ten years old and had just peed myself.

“What? That’s funny!”

“Did he think so?”

“No, obviously, or he would have given me his number.” Cindy was such a downer. I definitely needed some new friends. Some funner friends. Friends who laughed at my jokes.

“Or maybe he knew you were getting your car all fixed up to give to your piece of shit brother and thought that was no where he wanted to be.”

“How could he know that? I hardly me him!”

She gave me a knowing look that I wanted to punch off her face. Instead, I turned away in a huff.

A jacked guy with his hat on backwards walked, with a swagger, down the lane, flipping his keys in his hands.

“Follow him,” I said, thankful for a change in subject. “He definitely drives a truck and it looks like he’s leaving.”

“Do you have to be so judgmental? What if he drives a car? Or a minivan?”

“Yeah, like he drives a minivan. How would he long-cock his friends then?”

She glared at me.

“Just follow him and see,” I said.

I know she only followed him to prove me wrong, but she creeped along behind him anyway.

“Is that what I need to do about your brother too? Follow him until he gets caught and thrown in jail, you with him as an accessory?”

“He’s not going to get caught and I don’t see how giving him my car makes me an accessory.”

“You supplied the getaway vehicle, and ha! You admitted it, you liar.”

“Fuck!” It would seem I’d been friends with Cindy for too long, she knew me too well. Maybe it was time to move on to someone else, someone with a smaller vehicle.

“Why did you do that?”

“Swear? Because I always swear, you know that.”

“No! Give him your car! Helping him get away only makes things worse, you know that, right?

“I know he’s my brother and I have to help him.”

“Then let him get caught! Make him learn from his mistakes!”

I stared at her, my mouth open, waiting for something intelligent to come out. But nothing did. I looked out my windshield, to break from her penetrating gaze of truth. Then I saw the guy we’d been following hop into a lifted, overly accessoried, way too flashy, super duty truck.

“Ha! Told ya!”

I grinned. Cindy saw what I was looking at and shook her head.

“I can always tell the ones that are trying to prove something!”

Cindy snorted. “Yeah, me too.”

I don’t think she was talking about parking spot guy.

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