Feeling Conspicous

Pulling into the icy black top parking lot, I worked to stifle the irritating little tickle that I had the place wrong. Jabbing down that feeling that I had somehow looked it up incorrectly, or even confused the date, I pulled to a stop in the middle front row of park spaces.   I felt this space didn’t draw undue attention to a new car in the parking lot, and didn’t scream, “I am the first here!!!”  Not sure why, but that seemed important.

Besides mine, there were only two other cars around, parked at near opposite ends of the lot. They were empty, or at least appeared to be so. The scene was something out of some old noir film – one where two cars sat lonely in a dark parking lot late at night. Soon the camera would pan to a lone woman making her way to one of the cars, and camera pulls out to reveal the lights coming on the other just as she is reaching for her keys – suggesting her complete unawareness at being watched.

In a way I felt like that woman – the feeling of being watched itching up my back. Sitting in my parked car, I tried to be invisible in my indecision as to what to do now, looking around to see if I was being watched – though knowing no one cared enough to watch me even if there was someone there. Looking at the dashboard clock, it glowed a blue-green 6:49 at me – there were 11 minutes yet.

Shouldn’t there be people here already? The question rattled around in my head as I fidgeted my leg up and down, causing the car shake a little. It was an old car with bad suspension. My wife had the better of the vehicles with her tonight at class. I got stuck with the beater, which I always do. I didn’t mind so much.

Blue-green numbers jumped to 6:50. My leg, it seemed, bounced harder with my gathering inablity to take decisive action – either I was going to get out of the car and walk up there, or I was going to turn tail and head home. As my leg and mind bounced, the cold began to seep through the bad seals on the doors and the inside windows began fogging up. I knew if I went inside, by time I got out, I’d have to scrape the inside of my windows before I could leave. I hated scraping the inside of my windows, it always became a whole production.

  • Fire up the car
  • Rev engine, denying the fact that scraping would be far faster.
  • Break down and pull out a credit card
  • Scrape the reachable portions of the interior windows with the credit card
  • Drive home while peering through the scraped places

Not wanting that do deal with a hassle like that; I made up my mind, saying to myself, “Fuck it! I might as well see if this is it.”

The bouncing had finally catapulted me to action and I grabbed my keys from the ignition and my phone from the passenger seat and got out of the car – taking note of the wet bite of the cold on my face. I cringed at the creak of cold hinges of my car door, as I pushed it closed. The sound echoed off the building and only intensified my feeling of there being unseen eyes upon me. As the car door thunked shut, I stood beside my car considering my next problem — which door to go in.

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