Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Working Downtown

RIGHT LANE CLOSED AHEAD
LEFT LANE CLOSED AHEAD
2 RIGHT LANES MUST TURN RIGHT
2 LEFT LANES MUST TURN LEFT
MERGE RIGHT
(The only open lane, on the far right) MUST TURN LEFT
PARKING GARAGE (for which I pay $160 a month) FULL
VALET PARKING ONLY
CAR2GO PARKING ONLY
NO EVENT PARKING
NO PARKING EVER

And that's just on the way into work. Today was a rare occasion when Chad and I carpooled into downtown together, because he had fancy meetings of minds.

Chad met me at my workplace at the end of the day. As we stood at the busy intersection across from my urine-and-vomit-scented parking garage for which I pay $160 a month, a man came walking towards us calling out, "Brian, Brian. Hold up, Brian." The walk sign lit up, and several people including Chad and I started across the street. "Brian's friend" started walking into my path, stopping when I stopped and slowing when I slowed, effectively herding me out of the crosswalk. I stopped and took a step backwards, saying, "please, after you." Brian's friend stopped too. Finally, I just made my way to my destination curb, not caring if he tried to get in my path. Brian's friend said to Chad, "give me a dollar." Chad replied, "sorry, I don't have any cash." The whole time, we walked in stutter steps as he tried to herd me off of the sidewalk, never touching me or stepping on my feet, but barely missing. I had pepper spray in my hand, trigger finger on the spray button. With my other hand, I must have touched my hair, because Brian's friend said, "That's it. Run your hand through your hair, girl." I stopped, turning to face Brian's friend fully, giving him a steely (yet terrified) gaze. He responded, "Oh, are you gonna call the cops on me?" I thought he had a novel idea, so as loudly as I could, (remember I am a trained actress who knows how to project my voice) I yelled the name of my work building's security guard, "Bruuuuuuuuce!" Brian's friend did not care for this. He stopped in his tracks. Took a few steps backwards and looked at me as if I might be mentally ill. Good. Once I got into my car in the parking garage, I gave in to a slight fight or flight meltdown after locking the car doors. Then I drove Chad and myself home in terrible traffic.

I hate downtown.

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