It’s going on 6:00 pm. I’ve got a date in a room with a dozen other writers for something called Late Night Write, a specific brand of National Novel Writing Month torture. And I promised them chocolate.
Fred Meyer is only a couple blocks from my house. On the way to the next town over where the librarian who is also the organizer of the write-ins reserved a room at the library after closing hours. I’ll stop by the store, rush into the Christmas candy section, snag a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures (something for everybody in there) and be on my way in a snap.
Instead, everyone will choose to drive down the row where I parked. The man next to me will pull out at the same time I stick my vehicle in reverse without so much as a glance behind him. Good thing the guy in the pickup truck was respectfully waiting for me.
The armored vehicle is parked along the curb across from the exit from my row. All traffic is squished into a single line.
Here are the things I learned that night:
- Trucks pulling trailers should not squeeze by in a single lane
- There are polite drivers who will let you into the congested stream of unmoving traffic
- Plenty of drivers are myopic. Watch out for them because they don’t see anyone else
- The traffic flow from the gas pumps stymies the regular pattern
- If someone lets you in, you need to pay it forward and let someone in
- If you let too many someones in, the seemingly-polite driver who showed you favor might morph into a Gremlin who lays on the horn
- People don’t walk and talk on the cell phone at the same time very effectively if it requires dodging a snaking snarl of slow-moving vehicles
All in all, I’ve determined that unless there is an emergency, I won’t be returning to Fred Meyer or any other grocery store with a gas station in its parking lot on a Friday in the vicinity of 6:00pm.
On a positive note, it gave me something fresh to write about when I got to the room powered by creative energy.
What lessons have you learned from a parking lot?