“This is ridiculous! We’re going to be late!” Nancy whined as she looked out the passenger seat window. “How are all the parking spaces taken? This city…” she growled as her sister Caley made a left turn and they continued to hunt for a parking spot.
“Well, if you hadn’t taken forever putting on your makeup, we could have left when I wanted to and this wouldn’t have been a problem,” Caley snarkily replied.
The sisters sat in brooding silence and continued the hunt for a parking space in downtown Knoxville. Rounding yet another car-lined block, Nancy began rocking anxiously in her seat. “We’re going to miss it! I went to all this trouble, made signs, printed up stickers, I have our sleeping bags, two weeks of food and a whole tub of baby wipes and it’s all just going to sit in the car cause the entire movement will be over before we ever park the car!” Nancy said for the third time since they got off the highway.
“There’s one!” Caley almost screamed as she pointed to a car leaving a space on the right side of the street just ahead of them.
“Finally!” Nancy said and clapped her hands excitedly.
Ten minutes later and they still weren’t parked. “Damn parallel parking! I never could get it right…” Caley huffed and blew a strand of hair out of her eyes as she tried backing in once again.
Nancy was on the verge of a complete meltdown… if she didn’t get to the demonstration, if she missed anything important, she would never forgive her sister. This was the start of something huge, something that might change the world and she was stuck in a stinky old Volvo two blocks away because her sister hadn’t bothered to pay attention in driver’s ed.
“Just a little closer…” Caley muttered with intense concentration as she gripped the steering wheel, “…and… got it!” she almost yelled as she wedged the Volvo into the space. Throwing it in park, Caley turned proudly to her sister and said, “Well, it may not be perfect but it’ll do! Now let’s get goin!”
Both girls jumped out of the car and began grabbing all their supplies. “This is going to be great,” Nancy said, her enthusiasm returning now that she was finally out of the car.
“Uh oh,” Caley said from the other side of the car.
“What now?” Nancy asked as she threw her laptop into her backpack and zipped it up. Walking to where her sister was standing on the sidewalk, Nancy felt a sinking in her stomach when she noticed what had caught her sister’s attention.
“You didn’t happen to bring any change, did you?” Caley asked, already knowing the answer. They both just stared at the parking meter in complete dejection.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Tonight I attended my first protest activity and it was very interesting. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time going into the details of it (just not my bag to get all political) but it was fun to go and listen to a group of my fellow citizens come together to voice their opinions on some of the major happenings in our country. Since the meeting spot for this ‘general assembly’ was in downtown Orlando, we decided we’d better leave at least an hour early to make sure we could find a place to park. Sure enough, the parking availability was slim at best and we ended up parking about fifteen minutes away. During the walk from the car, which I didn’t mind since it was such a nice night out tonight and our path took us around Lake Eola, I was tickled by the thought of all the mundane things people have to do, even before perhaps life changing events. It made me think about the Occupy Wall Street protestors and what their routine was like right before they set up camp in Zuccotti Park. It was funny to me to imagine these hardcore protestors, all decked out in their hipster garb and equipped with supplies and signs having to circle the block to find parking for their ‘big event’. Just keeps things in perspective, I suppose.
Love & Squirrels.