There are days I lie on my couch and wonder why I’m so easily swayed by the most subtle suggestions. Then, there are other times I rise up in a fury, angered by a mind that can take anything said by a stranger turn it over and over in contemplation and drop it in the “Well, that could very well be true” bin.
When someone orders you to find them attractive and have sex with them, your common sense alarm bells ring at full tilt and their insistence doesn’t work. Your internal oppositional defiance disorder kicks in, and you make them go away immediately, by either punching them in the throat or using any number of Krav Maga moves you’ve picked up from Splinter Cell over the years. But when a person just walks up to me out of the blue with an off hand “these are not the droids you are looking for” shot, I actually take it into consideration? What the fuck is even wrong with me?
The last time this happened, I had been Svengalied into joining a very inefficient and wildly unbalanced school carpool by a neighborhood dad. On numerous occasions I had laid out the many, varied and compelling reasons why I needed extreme flexibility in at least one of the school drop off schedules and that I could not be counted on because of sports, high school admissions and a hundred other potential factors that could flare up for me during the year. Not only did I drive that carpool route every single day but Monday, I also ended up being the only person participating four days out of the week- with me hauling their kids and no one hauling mine.
Now, it would seem that with my lesson learned and having been around for forty something years I’d have been able to take this and apply it when, after driving up the alleyway, I found that a contractor working on a local home had parked in my garage.
This type of thing is usually easy enough to remedy. I sit parked behind his car and honk my horn a few times to alert him that he’s committed a breach of etiquette almost inexcusable in a city teeming with humanity, where too many vehicles and not enough unmetered parking cause heartbreak and aggravation for its citizens on a daily basis.
But my plan b was much easier, involving nothing more than a quiet wait and the use of my observational skills. From where I sat, I could see that two homes were under major construction and that several contractors were parked in and around the area and because he’d left his vehicle open to load and unload materials he would be right back.
I was feeling very satisfied with myself and the way I was choosing to handle some guy parked in my garage when suddenly he appeared.
“Oh, is this your garage?”
“Why, yes. Yes it is.”
“Hmm. Yes, I’m sorry but it’s just that every time I’m here it’s just sitting there empty, so I’m using it.”
“okay, well I’m home now and I need to park.”
“Well no one is ever here, you don’t usually have a car in there.”
At that point I got in my car to reverse down the alley, allowing him the room to park his truck where ever the fuck he needed to that wasn’t my garage, but I began to think.
Am I never here?
Do I think I spend more time here than I really do?
Yes, it certainly true that I’m out and about quite a bit, but what is the ratio of time spent parked here vs. time spent away?
And on and on, to the point where I actually had a guilt moment about making him park further away from his destination to unload his parcels. At such times you sort of have to wonder how things have gotten to this point in your life that even considering this guy’s statement as a potential valid fact is a very real possibility. You’d think there would be rock solid, concrete certainty about life. Things are, or they are not. There is no grey area or different interpretation of-
Man parks in garage that is not his. He feels no remorse and cleverly shifts dynamic making homeowner question reality.
So here I sit- sipping coffee that is two hours cold and spying out my back windows- silently smiling and talking to myself about how I fell pray to the mind melding expertise of a very persuasive home improvement master and his Jedi technique. I suppose that means he actually wins.