A Parking Lesson

I pulled onto West 130th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues looking for a parking spot. I noticed one between two cars. I knew there wasn’t a fire hydrant there.

Getting into the spot would have been a tight squeeze, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Luckily, though, I saw that there was a man sitting in the Jeep parked in front of the empty space. He had easily half a car’s length ahead of him that he could move up into. I figured I would ask if he would mind making my job easier.

Pulling alongside the Jeep, I saw that the man was leaning back in his seat. His window was already down. I rolled down my front passenger side window.

“Hi, excuse me.” I said, “Would you mind pulling up a bit so I could squeeze in behind you?”

No response.

“Excuse me, sir?”

This time, he answered.

“Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just wanted to ask if you could move up a tad, maybe three feet.”

“I heard what you said,” he said. “I’ll move up two feet, and learn how to park.”

Now I was annoyed.

He pulled the Jeep up, and I backed into the empty spot easily. Turning off the ignition, I decided to ask the man if he would evaluate my parking job. After all, he had said I needed to learn.

As I approached the Jeep, the man was reaching out the window with his hand open. Almost magnetically, my hand was drawn into his.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m on the phone with the funeral home. My father just passed. Please, go easy on me.”

It doesn’t take much to set us off when we’re surrounded by millions of people, especially in the heat. So go easy on each other.

Writer: Ray Furlong
Article originally published in The New York Times

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