The Parking Game

By Beacon Staff

The parking man is too strong. I feel powerless. This isn’t just about the $20 in parking tickets I immediately racked up after moving here. It also has something to do with my deep envy of his deceptively swift parking cart – I want one so bad.

Recently I went to the Parking Commission to dispute a ticket. I held my chest high and told myself to stand strong. But I crumpled. His parking power is profound. He told me I could fight the ticket in court, a proposition as enticing as a root canal.

While scurrying around in his parking Porsche on Second Street the other day, he made eye contact with me and then looked away without flinching. He knows he’s breaking me down.

It’s nothing personal. He does his job well and I do mine. It’s just that his job makes mine harder.

My office is on Main Street, where there isn’t anywhere nearby to park for longer than two hours at a time without paying. I’ve analyzed my options. I can pay $2 a day to park in a lot across the street, but that adds up to $10 per week, about $500 per year. Now that I have my bike, I can and should pedal to work. But reporting often requires driving, and in many instances I have to take my car. Parking permits aren’t cheap either.

Even an interview with a valued source yielded no answers.

“Parking sucks,” he said, confirming my suspicions.

The parking man and his swift cart aren’t the only issues. It seems my parking is of concern to others as well. Maybe it’s because my car stands out, as it is a particularly girlish two-door Toyota Rav4 that looks like the back was chopped off. It resembles a large pregnant roller skate.

One day I left the pregnant roller skate in the same spot for too long. I returned at lunch and a woman came out of her business to greet me with profanities. She hinted that the whole world would be a better place if I parked elsewhere and cautiously eyed me to see what grave act of terror I would commit next.

I understand her frustration, but the situation is hard for us all.

In the end, though, I prefer parking games over paying. Not to mention, I know I need to do my part by riding my bike more when driving is unnecessary. If I don’t pay to park, I can save up money to one day, hopefully, buy my own deceptively swift parking cart.