Thursday, April 26, 2007

Parking Opera

Think of this as a recitative, one of those monotonous interludes accompanied by harpsichord in which lyrics that sound good in Italian turn out to mean things like "Won't you have a seat?"

[Thursday, 7:30-8 A.M., on the second-best of all possible parking blocks]

A cop pulls up at the foot of the street,
looks for cars without drivers, and goes away.
But behind me now red lights are blinking.

A cop car is just sitting there.
The sweeper comes, but has to go around it.
I can’t make my illegal turn
the wrong way onto the one-way street
with that cop car sitting there. So I block
the crosswalk on the other side of the street.

I claim my space!
But the woman behind me hesitates.
She has to parallel park,
and it’s tight.

All right,
Let’s make it easier.
I’ll pull into her place,
And she’ll take mine.

She’s in the crosswalk now.
“Once that cop car moves, we’ll all move back.”
(That’s the guy in back of me,
in the S.U.V. )
“What’s that cop doing there?”
“I think somebody got broken into.”
“That’s not good.”

Later, after I lock my car,
I see a man back there
with a sheet of plastic
and a roll of duct tape.

I say the obvious: “Oh, no, you got broken into.”
“Yes,” he says. “They got my golf clubs.”

“Oh, no. I'm sorry.
It happened to me once."
Then I saw on his front seat
a pair of golf shoes.
"Were they showing?”
He nodded ruefully.

“This street is safe,” he said. “Fucking crackheads!
It sucks.”
He was insured, he said, at least for glass.
But not for golf clubs.

At least they didn't take his shoes.

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