Saturday, January 14, 2006

Spaced Out

People are crazy.

We all know it and say it. Of course, we can hardly be objective, since we are people too.

The other day I was backing into a parking space, when I paused because I saw someone running towards my car, on the driver's side. I panicked for a moment: Did I run over something? Or someone?

The woman who appeared at my window, knocked and demanded that I roll the window down. By now I knew that I had not killed anyone or anything. I refused to roll down the window. She insisted, and was rather nasty.

"Just roll down the window!!!"

I said no, and told her I could hear her fine from inside the car. Wait a this a carjacking, I wondered. Is a middle-aged white woman trying to jack my car on Wisconsion Avenue?

She looked at me with disgust, and finally backed away. As she left, she yelled,

"I want your parking space!"

Puzzled, I finished easing my car into the space. This woman, stopped her car at an odd angle, left it almost in traffic at a busy intersection, put the hazard lights on, and came to knock on the car window of a stranger--all for a parking space. A space that was not even available because I was backing in and not out.

Out of concern for my own safety, I did not roll the window down. But obviously the woman was not interested in her own safety. She left her car almost hanging out in traffic. And she wanted me to roll my window down, not knowing who I was or what I may have had in my car. Plus, she was very close to my car, never thinking for a moment that if I put my foot to the gas and turned the steering wheel, she could be injured. And yet in this very precarious situation, she thought it was a good idea to yell at me, a person that she did not know. Good thing for her, I have no interest in violence, be it senseless or even somewhat provoked.

The quest for a good parking space is just a part of urban life. And like an oasis in the desert, you are likely to see many that are just mirages. But whatever you do, don't go crazy and start banging on people's windows.

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