Monday, June 11, 2007

THE PEOPLE YOU MEET....

So. I was sitting in my work van, in an apartment building parking lot, enjoying the shade and reading a newspaper. My quota for the day more than filled, I determined to kick back--as they say--and put my feet up and wait for the end of the day. (Exciting, I know.) As I was reading about more deaths in Iraq, I heard a car pull up, sputtering, next to me. The driver killed the engine. I heard a door open and shut.

You ever get that feeling in which you know that someone is about to engage you conversation? Kind of like a pregnant pause, like a should-I-shouldn't-I-type of internal decision? Bingo. I sighed and turned the page to the Op-Ed section. I was staring blankly at a cartoon of Toyota executives throwing around Ford catchphrases when the person came to the side of my van.

"Do you live here?" a voice asked at my shoulder. It was a man's voice, roughened with cigarettes, and it seemed somewhat-confrontational.

I folded the newspaper and set it in my lap and I turned to the window. A 30s-ish guy in a black T-shirt and reflective sunglasses, stood there, his shoulders kind of bunched in an aggressive manner. "Huh?" I asked.

"I said do you live here," he said. He backed away momentarily and studied the side of the van which read, in big green and blue letters (accompanied with a green-blue swoosh) CONSUMERS ENERGY. He walked back to the window. "I haven't seen you around here, before."

"Um, no," I said, mirroring his animosity. "I don't live here." I forced a slanted smile. "Just, you know, sitting in the shade and reading the paper. Why? Should I not be sitting here?"

He seemed puzzled. "I mean, the van looks like one that is around here all the time. I think they live here. Why don't you just go to a park to sit in the shade and read a newspaper?"

Crickets chirped.

I sighed. I said, "If it's really that big of a problem, no big deal, I can push on."

He held his hands up. "Oh! No, don't worry about it. I guess I just thought that you might have lived here. A lot of kids hang out in the parking lot." He gestured over at his car, a late-model Buick Skylark, replete with quarter-panel rust and a Harley-Davidson sticker on the bumper. "I just don't want people messin' with my car."

I blinked.

"Go ahead and sit there," he said. "Take a break. Enjoy the paper."

Thank you, sir, I was thinking. 'Tis very gracious of you, sir, to allow me to relax for a minute or five in your parking lot, in the corner, under a tree, away from any and all cars--except for yours, which you chose to park two spaces away from my van. I am humbled by your magnanimity. You are a peach, a king, to grant me this special privilege of reading a newspaper in your apartment building parking lot.

"Just watch out for my hooptey," he said, gesturing towards the Skylark. He pasted a grin to his mug and ambled away.

"Oh," I said. "Don't worry about that, man."

21 comments:

Sugar Kane said...

What a douche bag.

The One and Only A said...

Succinct and indubitably keee-rect, Sugah. My unasked question to him: How do you mix up white vans, seeing as how one of them has a big-ass utilities logo on the side? :-\ He was either slightly-off, really tired, or a complete--yes--douche bag. =)

Long live the douche bag! Long live the douche bag! Huzzah!

The One and Only A said...

Oh, by the way, Miss Kane, I think you had some, um, rather-unpleasant words about my Tigers? ;-)

To what baseball team doth thou pledge allegiance?

Melissa said...

The A + B of that conversation never added up to C.

"I guess I just thought that you might have lived here. A lot of kids hang out in the parking lot."

Hello, what?

littlemissy555 said...

"A lot of kids hang out in the parking lot." ....Well Adam, maybe he was trying to express how youthful you look ;0D He didn't want the riffraff messing with his hunk o' junk...how funny. And why pray tell didn't you snap a picture of the hoopdy with your camera phone...hmmm?

Sugar Kane said...

You'll have to check the comments of your previous post.

The One and Only A said...

Melmac: I know. The guy was coming out of left field with that one.

Little Missy: You know what? You're absolutely right. I guess I didn't take a snapper because I didn't know that I would be bloggin about the dude later. But, trust me, it wasn't any kind of vehicle that would attract any admiration.

Sugar Kane: Going to check right now. =)

The One and Only A said...

Redbird Sugar Kane. Hmm. Did you know that the best hitter on YOUR Cardinals is named after a third-grader's insult? Pujols? Phoenetically, "Poo-holes."

Damn. That's all I got. I must be slippin. I'm still bitter, though, about the World Series. My Tigers (and, yes, Tiger fans are Legion) choked on that last bite of the Cinderella season. To come SO FAR only to start CHUCKING THE BALL ALL AROUND THE BALLPARK, THUS BASICALLY *GIVING* THE REDBIRDS THE TITLE...well, it just makes me sad. :*(

Sugar Kane said...

Puh-leez! That's it? Now I'm disappointed.

The One and Only A said...

I, uh, left something about the *coughno-hittercough* Tiggers on your penultimate post, S. Kane. =)

Where the hell was *that* in the World Series?

Nanette said...

Yes, a picture of the jalopy would have been nice. Now, get off of my parking lot before I get my cane! Carry on.

The One and Only A said...

Haha, Nanny. What an image I get in my mind: For some reason, you're hobbling around bowleggedly, swooshing your cane in the air like an octogenarian Zorro. =)

(If I'm in the area, I'll take a picture of it, if it is parked there. BTW, how often do you see four two-letter words right in a row? Odd. "...it, if it is."

Nanette said...

I'll take five for a thousand...

...of it, if it is ;)

just because it is funny to bust your balls

The One and Only A said...

Holy crap. I hadn't even noticed! =)

Isabella Snow said...

What a freak!

And *ahem* given your passion for my latest post, I think you should do your blog fans a favor and pass the news on - with that clever wit, of course. ;)

The One and Only A said...

I think I will, Izzy. Thanks for the inspiration. I've been all bloggin'-mucked lately. :-\

Terry said...

Don't have much to say on the post (other than he was a big a ole grouch!)..... Just wanted to stop by and wave since I haven't commented all week. I've been feeling like the ick has gotten a hold of me. But I'm hoping to be on the upswing Soon! :)

The One and Only A said...

Hi Terry! Good to "see" you! =O)

Hope you start feeling less-"Ick" soon!

rumbles said...

You know Adam you make quite the story teller....have you considered writing like a short story and selling it somewhere? I'm trying it with a couple of my features. seriously, you don't need to have experience and you could definitely draw on the stories from when you're meant to be working but instead kicking back and putting up with what the world has to offer.

The One and Only A said...

Thanks, Rumbles! =) I have, actually, thought about it. I love to write, sure, but I always have problems coming up with the damned PLOT of the story. But you're right: I could *definitely* draw upon some of the whack-jobs I have come across in my line of work. ;-)

By the way, I would love to read some of your work (you should start a weblog!) and don't think that I missed that "meant to be working" dig. =o) I work, I work...it's just that my job could make watching paint dry seem interesting, sometimes. ;-)

Elisha said...

My stuff isn't that interesting because it was written for uni but I spose I could since I wiped everything else off my blog. In fact because I have nothing to do right now I'll get straight onto that.

you'll find it at www.rumblemumbles.blogspot.com