Three cars had groceries in the trunk (1 held melting popsicles that would later be the cause of heartbreak for a 4-year-old boy, 1 held a pound of apples, a loaf of bread, and a bottle of the Balvenie, 1(more) held a pint of Ben and Jerry's, a Thinking-Of-You card, and a 12-pack of multi-colored gel pens).
One car was completely empty, devoid even of floor mats, the seat belt on the front passenger seat had been cut out.
Four cars were scratched and dented (the female owner of 1 grumbled that she should hang a sign on the door: "Don't blame me, my husband did it.", 2 carried the pock-marks of neighborly door dings, and if you looked closely at 1, you could see where the owner missed a spot of rusty-looking blood leftover from a hit-and-run a week ago).
Two cars were pristine. They were parked next to each other, but far away - at least 15 spaces - from all of the other cars. They glistened and shone in the streetlights. People gave them wide berth.
Six cars were of that color that is not a color - not white or cream, silver or beige - invented solely for it's ability to hide the most road-dirt, water-spots, and salt. A color for people both fearful and lazy.
Two cars stood running and empty. The back door of one hung open, the interior light on, heater blowing air over the earth. The other was locked tight and dark. It rumbled gently, but was still and if you leaned close you could hear a faint thumping from the trunk.
A lot happened in that parking lot. Drugs, violence, sex (consensual and non-) — but I had nothing to do with it. Even though I lived next door — my 4th-floor apartment provided an excellent view of many late-night shenanigans — my world was entirely separate and I was(more) damned sure going to keep it that way.
Then that damned hooker showed up.
Arriving home from work, I was just about to swipe myself in when I spotted her loitering by the mailboxes in all her strumpety glory. My initial reaction was anger — how dare one of "that lot" step onto my turf; didn't she know the rules?
"You gotta let me in." She sounded desperate, but that wasn't enough.
"I'm sorry," I replied, "I'm not allowed, er, 'guests' in my apartment."
"I don't give a shit about your apartment, dude. Just open the fucking door."
Here's the truth: I was pretty sure she could beat the shit out of me if it came to it. Also, I can't deny that her voluptuous figure in that sinful red dress made me briefly reassess my principles. However, at the time, I told myself I was doing a noble humanitarian gesture for a desperate soul.
I swiped my card, and the reassuring clunk of the mag-lock announced the brief window of invitation.
The next morning she was gone. I figured that was that, until the police turned up requesting the lobby security tape and we learned precisely the horrors that she had been running from.
I congratulated myself for my heroic role in saving a life. I then made a generous donation to Women's Refuge to ease my conscience before insisting on significant security upgrades to keep the good citizens of Juniper Towers from having to cross paths with that lot again.(less)
My generation's wonder years gave Winnie Cooper a cancerous strain of HPV. Kevin made his home in a Wal-Mart parking lot and still can't put the pipe down. Paul just upped his dose of zoloft. Someone at work may or may not have said something that might have been(more) inappropriate. He took it pretty hard. And Wayne... Well, fuck Wayne.
I could feel the nerves lingering amidst the chemistry.
His eyes shifting from the doors over to my direction
as we sat in his little run down car in the parking lot of our favorite movie theater... It was our first date and he, well, he wanted it (more)to be just right. While I, well, I was too nervous to even think straight let alone function. Truth is, he was the first guy I could ever see myself truly falling for. Perfect in his imperfect ways with a heart so genuine and true you could hardly believe it. I didn't, at least in the beginning. I was convinced he wanted nothing more then to feel the thrill of a game when in actuality he wanted nothing more than to be the guy I could turn to... and eventually he became just that... and so here we are, best friends slowly unveiling that door that could potentially lead to romance or chaos. A thought that often kept us away for so long until our hearts gave into the constant emotions it kept coming back to. We knew we could be really great together and as we sat in his run down car in the parking lot of our favorite movie theater, he took my hand and I was certain of it because I was with him and to me nothing else seemed better than that.(less)
I hauled my bike up those three flights of stairs in the old brick building, let myself into the studio apartment I shared with my cat Max, and sighed. It had been a long day and I was ready to relax and kick back. Tonight it was just me and(more) Max, as my significant other was out of town with his family.
I liked having the night to myself. Even if I had nothing more exciting planned than dinner and a video or reading on the couch, it was nice to just have that time alone. Not that I didn't appreciate a little romantic time, of course. Max, purring and chirping in the kitchen, reminded me that cats need love, too. Or maybe he was just asking to be fed.
I was just getting dinner on the table when I felt the rumble. My first thought was, "Uh oh, the washer's out of balance again." But I was on the third floor, and the washer in my building was on the first floor. And this felt like the vibration of an army of washers, not just one. Max scooted under the table and howled plaintively.
Just as suddenly as it began, the vibration stopped. And just as suddenly, all the car alarms in the parking lot went off, a cacaphony of horns and sirens. Max and I had experienced our first earthquake.(less)
Between narrow black lines
tracing across grey asphalt
wet from rain
showers that covered us before
(more) dinner of bibimbap
your favorite word hopscotching
across your tongue I
hold your hand closed in my fist
and remembering to let your thoughts
roll forward like thunder
admire the lightning that is you
This shivering sliver of immortality
quivers in our hands
as I tell you where to cut
the segmented rings
to create a multitude from the one
like the loves and fishes
like them but
not across the middle
even five hearts can't stand to be
parted and live on
We found the body in a parking lot. It was alone, propped sitting against a lamp post, its arms held in place with rope so that it looked as though it were driving a very low-to-the-ground, very invisible car. I say "it" because we would need the medical examiner(more) to determine sex. It as very ghoulish. And I'm the type of cop who listened in his freshman year English class, when the teacher said that "very" was an ugly word. Now I know the world is full of lots of crap uglier than any word could ever be--but I still appreciate Mrs. Gallivan's point. I write letters to my unborn kid, at least one a week--have since the day we found out Carly was pregnant, will up until Joe Jr.'s or Emma's birth, and who knows, maybe I'll just keep writing those weekly letters forever. Those letters, I fill them up--they overflow with--nothing but beautiful words. I still take your point, Mrs. Gallivan. I keep it close. (less)