I am lolling about in bed, wasting the day, mentally preparing, at around 2 in the afternoon, to get ready for work. My faithful phone, now an extension of my body, goes “ding,” indicating a text has been received.
“I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” the upstairs neighbor thumbs, “but the man across the street is calling the cops, you are blocking his driveway.”
When I pull up at 2 o’clock in the morning, the street is often lined with cars. I found a good place across the street and I guess I should have pulled just a little bit forward.
From my porch, I shout, “I am coming to move it,” and clad in my sleeping garb, I roar down the stairs into what has turned out to be an incredibly warm February day.
“Yell, yell, yell.” It is the man across the street, wearing a very nice suit, fresh from church, down the street — he does, amid yells, make sure to let me know he attended church on this beautiful Sunday.
He is now teamed up with another neighbor, and when he is not yelling at me about tow trucks and police, you can see the two of them discussing the sad state of parking on our street.
I am fully owning my guilt and I begin to yell back. I have learned, working in psych hospitals, that it is better to speak softly to a yelling person; they tend to lower their own volume in an attempt to hear you. I have also learned that when you reach a certain level of agitation, you can’t really understand other people, nor can you speak coherently.
“OK,” I yell, “I am very sorry, I am moving it.”
“I have already called the police,” he counters.
“I think you should,” I answer — of course, like him, yelling.
“Next time I call a tow truck,” he responds.
“I would encourage you to do that.” (I am told I moved in a little too close and was wagging my finger. At times like this I can feel tears of rage falling somewhere on my face.)
“And I shall never park in front of this house again!” My world has become monotone. I fire up my truck and park it elsewhere. As I go inside, he is still yelling.
“Enough already,” is my final salvo — if he called the cops they should be here by now — “I moved it!”
“I wasn’t talking to you,” he yells.
No, I think, you are yelling at everyone.
The street is quiet when I go to work an hour later. I have to park several blocks away when I get home at 2 a.m.
I am not saying I was right. ben.guerrero @sbcglobal.net