Another Monday has arrived without a proper invitation, I don’t know about you but I really don’t like unexpected guests. Regardless of how many times I told the clock to shut-up it continued on, its persistent buzz goading me into launching it across the room. I would have too, but self-control woke up with me this morning just in time to tie my hands before removing theirs.
Begrudgingly I exited the bed, the fact that I had dawdled only increasing my annoyance as I hurriedly put on my clothes and performed a miraculous three yard dash through the bathroom. Breakfast was out of the question as I gathered what I would need for the day and rushed out the door. Glancing at my watch and quickly calculating whether or not there would be time for a cup of drive-thru java I decided it may be in everyone’s best interest to make that pit stop a priority. Driving up the on-ramp I was immediately faced with a juxtaposition of thoughts, would skipping the coffee stop have allowed me to beat the gridlock or would I have faced it anyway, hence I should be thankful for the momentary friend driving down this black ribbon full of aliens.
Finally arriving at campus, the car was barely in park before dashing for the conference room, sure that it would be the last straw if I had to walk in to the room in front of everyone, the look of contempt evident in their glazed Monday eyes.
Instead I walked into a locked room the first to arrive. A few minutes later I finally discerned my watch was ten minutes fast as others began to file into the room. My body’s systems still in overdrive due to my aggravated morning routine, I didn’t share with anyone what surely would have given some comic relief, still preoccupied with the fact I went through the paces for nothing.
Eleven o’clock could not come soon enough I was famished due to the fact that since yesterday the only thing I had put in my body’s gas tank was 16 ounces of brown water with a side of caffeine. The noise coming from my stomach was certainly enough for various furtive glances from those sitting closest to me. All I could do was pretend not to notice, peering at my notebook as if the secret to long life were captured there.
At the appointed time I blitzed my way out the door, intent on getting to my car before the lines to get out of the parking lot backed up past the admissions building. I started jogging up to the back lots, already scanning looking for my telltale roof rack that announced the
position of my vehicle long before reaching it. The large signs at the entrance of each lot trumpeting the lot number for the poor souls who can’t remember where they parked, of which I always wondered if they can’t remember where they parked, what makes them think they will remember the number of the lot?
I am starting to get winded now as I find myself further away from the conference center than I remembered. The seeds of doubt just starting to germinate deep inside. Give me a break I am just about out at the last lot now! I know darn well I didn’t park way out here! Drat, I somehow must have missed my car on the way up and now I have got to head back the other way and find my vehicle.
Looking around, the traffic to get out of here now resembles
rush hour on Boston’s Storrow Drive, might as well take my time as I am not going anywhere fast. I could have sworn I parked over in lot 3, and yet as I approach, the lot half empty now, confirms the car is not there. I guess I’m in lot 2 after all, but as I scan the lot I can not find a familiar roof rack in sight. Continuing on to lot 1 I am perplexed as I almost never make it to this lot, it is typically full before 7am. Maybe I just don’t remember because I was in such a rush this morning. Now my embarrassment at not remembering where I parked is mixing with my frustration of not having found my car. Nonsensical thoughts began to pop up in my brain like: maybe someone stole my roof rack and that’s why I can’t find my car! I stop suddenly as the thought hits me… maybe someone stole my car.
As this thought takes root, the pit of my empty stomach begins to churn, as every negative reality within the grip of my imagination quickly becomes a viable possibility. Now I am jogging again towards the security office ready to blurt out to who ever will listen that a gang of car thieves have infiltrated the campus specifically looking for seven-year old vehicles with roof racks, no doubt some madman’s plot to take over the world!
Just as I am about to swing the door to the security office open my eye catches it, a glint of late morning sunshine ricocheted off of a roof rack and caught me square in the eye. Incredulous, I think, it’s not possible how did my car get down here? There is no way I could have parked here, no way at all. Yet there was my car, it’s presence mocking me and my memory.
So there it was, proof, plain as day. I was now officially a member of the lot numbers club. I can no longer walk with my head held high after parking my car, as now there will be a constant flurry of furtive glances, trying to establish landmarks. Aisle letters and lot numbers will be written in a log chained to my belt loop. My next vehicle purchase will surely have to include a GPS locator device to be sure I don’t end up vehicle-less. If you see some forlorn looking man,
aimlessly wandering some half vacant parking lot. please be kind and help him find his car.