Sometimes when I chauffeur Gary to his grocery outing, my Preferred Parking Place at The Purity (PPPP) is taken.
This spot allows me a 180-degree view of Franklin Street and the ability to witness any manner of craziness while I wait for Gary to do his shopping. My second choice is the handicap spot nearest the store’s entrance (we have a disabled placard).
On this day, as I sit in the car in parking place choice #2, a guy in a small beige pickup with a black canopy over the bed swooshes in on my left to create his own a handicap spot closer to the door.
I want to tell him, “Just because there’s a few feet of curb painted blue doesn’t mean this is a designated handicap spot.” I’ll bet he doesn’t even have a handicap placard. I’m tempted to get out of my car and check. But this isn’t the gym. I’m not moving.
I’m bitter that my view of Franklin Street is now limited to 50 degrees, and only when I crane my neck to look out the driver’s side window.
I’m not able to go to The Purity every day and I don’t have all day to hang out there (at least until I retire when, sorry kids, you’ll have to put up with comments like, “Why does your mom hang outside The Purity all day?”). My precious time spent in the parking lot must allow the potential for maximum return.
I hear the approach of a vehicle that sounds like it’s running on a diet of chili beans. A blue mid-sized pickup with large patches of rust cancer is shaking and rattling into what is clearly designated a loading zone (curb painted yellow = loading zone) to my right. Like the small beige pickup guy, this driver creates his own parking space.
Amid the clinking of change, I hear mumble, mumble, “bottle,” hacking coughs, animal-like grunts, “bottle.”
The pickup door opens with a nasty groan. A passenger emerges. With a painful grunt, the truck door is slammed shut.
The man looks like a collapsed pup tent. He stumbles as he steps onto the walkway. His knees don’t fully bend, and he has to lean to one side and then the other to propel himself forward. His head is like a bobble doll threatening to send him flying backwards. I’m ready to leap from the car to assist if he falls.
I estimate he’s in his mid-thirties. His facial features are limp and his lips clumsily hold back saliva. His auburn hair is thick with a natural wave. With proper care and conditioning, it could be lovely.
He stops directly in front of my car, and wobbles to face me. He strains to focus as his left eye lingers at the outer portion of the socket.
“HEY!” His voice is the quality of nails shaken in a tin can.
His top half swaggers from the hips. “THAT’S A NICE CAR!”
“Thank you.” He’s right. It is a nice car. It’s dark red and kind of sporty and gets great gas mileage. I give him a little wave.
He raises his left hand and uses his wave to assist him in turning towards his original path,the change rattling in his pocket as he makes his way into The Purity to buy his bottle.
You should consider getting out of your sporty little car & leaning against the hood, in a tank top & hot pants. Just sayin’.