Most days of my life, I park in a big ugly concrete several story parking garage and then walk a couple of blocks to my office. Usually fairly uneventful. The parking part. Not the walking part. The walking part is excitingly urban (!) because it is filled with panhandlers, Greenpeace representative, Save the Children representatives, crazy people playing the clarinet, etc. A very long time ago, I was nice to all of them, but now I just have standard answers for them all:
Panhandler: Sorry, dude, nothing but plastic! Let me know when you take plastic, man.
Greenpeace Rep: Sorry, on my way to hunter safety class! Keep up the fight, brotha!
Save the Children Rep: Oh, I’m actually on the way to “Save a Child” myself right now! From middle school! Ha! See you tomorrow!
Crazy Clarinet Guy: See Panhandler.
Either that, or I pretend to be on the phone. Because my street peeps totally respect that I have a Very Important Call, even though I’m really listening to “You have no messages.”
Today was different. Today the parking garage was fabulously exciting. And that is because today I apparently sent out an Invisible Vibe that I Am A Very Bad Person. Let’s start with…
I drive in normally, but today instead of winding my way up four stories, there was a spot on the 2nd floor. I pull in. My phone slides off the seat and lands on the floor. I reach down to get it, apparently with my foot on the brake. A car stops and puts on its blinker, apparently thinking I’m leaving? I guess? I turn the car off and open the door. A lovely and gracious looking woman with perfectly coiffed hair lowers her window and screams in a voice not unlike Lyle Alzado, “Very f*cking nice, moron!” while slapping her steering wheel and peeling out. I look to see if I have a bumper sticker that says, “Old Ladies With Foul Mouths in Red Cars Suck Out Loud.” Nope. Nothin.
I enter the elevator. I see someone running towards it. I push the button to keep the doors open. Just paying it forward, y’know? A lady gets on, I smile and say “Goin’ down to the street?” She looks at me, squints and is all like, “Uh, No.” Only not in one syllable. In like FIVE syllables. Five syllables that meant “OMG, You Are So Stupid, and I have the intonation of a spoiled 14 year old.” She then proceeded to hit the button for the 1st floor really hard. The door opened and as she stomped off, she audibly muttered, “BITCH.”
Really? Holding the door for you and asking you a question means I’m a bitch? Mmmkay. Thanks for the info, sweetie.
I step out onto the street. A uniformed police officer on a bicycle is trying to light his cigarette from the lit cigarette of another police officer whose car is idling nearby on a sidewalk. I immediately go Highlights Magazine on the scene, and count several things Wrong With This Picture, but look away and keep walking. I hear Officer Bikey say, “Gah, whut?” I turn around. Yup, he’s talking to me.
I checked my reflection in the very first check cashing establishment I passed, and there was no mark of the beast on my forehead or anything. So that’s why I think it’s some sort of metaphysical vibration I’m transmitting. I hope it lasts because totally feel like a badass now, and I’m really excited for lunchtime. Watch out, you sandwich-makin' MFers.