The Parking Fiasco

I’m sitting at my Starbucks, though not at the usual table because the lobby was jam-packed when I got here. The table’s open now, but it’s not worth shutting down, packing up, and moving over piece by piece. I think I’ll stick with this spot today.

It’s 9:14, and I’m clutching my Salted Caramel Mocha with all the desperation of any other addict. Insert drug of choice here.

So, all’s calm and right on this dark grey day in the pacific northwest. At least right now. Let’s go back a tic and see how it all started.

I’m cozied up in bed, enjoying the smell of sheets that were fresh from the dryer last night. Trevor’s pillow has a lingering scent of his cologne, although he’s already gone for the day. It’s maybe 8 o’clock, which is perfect because I don’t have to move the car until 9.

The apartment complex is having the parking lot repainted today, which is great, because the parking is so bad at our complex that we’re considering leaving when the lease is up.

I roll over and press the little round button with the square on it, at the bottom of my phone. It lights up, 8:09, big and bright above the picture of ocean washing against pebbles that I took on Whidbey Island with my dad this summer.

Perfect.

I roll back over, inhale cologne, and exhale, content in my queen size square of happiness.

BEEP! BEEP!

What?

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

That high pitched beeping. Not the honk of car horns. The sound of a large vehicle backing up.

Huh, must be the garbage truck. I submerge further below the comforter, the fabric caressing my cheek.

BEEP! BEEP!

But, it’s Friday. Garbage pick up was yesterday. Now my interest has been piqued. I’m puzzled. Maybe even perplexed. Alliteration for the win.

So, with a dissatisfied sigh, I throw off the sheet and comforter and start getting dressed. By the time my bra and pants are in place, my brain has caught up and I’m starting to worry.

The paper said 9:00am. Any vehicles still on the property by 9:00am will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Half dressed I walk into the guest bedroom. It has a window that overlooks the parking lot, the best possible view for any guests that may campout. I peek out of the nasty mini-blinds, careful to make sure my exposed torso doesn’t become too exposed.

And there I see it, the tow truck, backed up against where my car should be.

Shit! Shit, shit, shit!

I run back to the bedroom, throw on the nearest shirt (purple long-sleeved t-shirt featuring Beauty and the Beast), run down stairs, tuck my feet into my worn brown Corduroy Toms, grab the parking notice from the fridge, and run outside.

The cold wind hits me, cuts through the thin fabric of my Disney shirt, but I don’t feel it right away. The tow truck is just hooking up. My car hasn’t been moved, or even really touched yet. And now I’m dashing across the parking lot, waving the sheet of paper like a lunatic, screaming, “They said 9! I have until 9!”

In hindsight, I feel bad for the tow truck driver. He was just doing his job. But, I think I gave him a right fright. I didn’t know a 5’6 woman in a pale purple Beauty and the Beast t-shirt could be intimidating, but I must of been. The driver was beyond apologetic, and even helped me by recommending where else I could park.

So, I tried to swallow my rage and behave like a civilized human being. With really bad morning breath. I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet. Now I feel even worse for the poor tow truck driver.

So, I find a new place to park, and head back the house. I brush my teeth and get ready for the day, just like any other workday. Except my mind is roiling. I’m seething as I brush my teeth, telling the mirror over my mouthful of toothpaste suds that Management will hear about this. I’m prepping my speech, getting ready to down which ever hapless employee happens to be there today.

I pack up the car, throw on my coat, and march my unhappy ass down to the Office, parking notice in hand.

And lo and behold, they don’ open until 9!

“That’s fucking convenient,” I mutter, and then I hear footsteps behind me.

“How can I help you?”

Dammit. I recognize this guy. He was the one putting the signs up earlier in the week, and he happens to be quite nice. The nicest person I’ve dealt with in that dragon’s lair they call the Office.

And just like that, the shaking rage, the indomitable, Beauty and the Beast wearing maniac, is gone. Insert reasonable Brittany, who works in customer service, and understands.

We chat, I express my anger and frustration. He apologizes and is generally wonderful. Dammit. And ultimately, we handle it like adults. He asks what unit I’m in, and makes a note of it, but even I admit there’s nothing he can do to make it better. It’s done. And I even make sure to tell him that the two truck driver was wonderful too.

How did this happen?

How did I go from, “I am Brittany, and they touched my Corolla- Heads will ROLL!” to, “I know there’s nothing you can do, but I just need you to know how frustrating it is to be woken up this way.”

I’m not even frustrated at them anymore, I’m mad at me for always being reasonable once the chat has to be had. I go from spitting mad and fuming, to reasonable and understanding.

And, I know that’s a good thing. I’m not a crazy person who can take out even justified rage on someone who, ultimately, had nothing to do with it.

But, dammit, I really wanted to rip someone’s head off!

Anyway, that’s how my day’s gone.

Now, to work!

I’ve spent my days off reading ‘Everything Eventual’ by Stephen King, and getting a feel for horror. Hopefully it’ll reflect in my short story work over the next few weeks.

Have a great day Blogland!

 

BZ

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