Friday, January 20, 2012

Nashville in the Evening Rush

I spent yesterday afternoon downtown visiting a lawyer. This was arduous, since one spends most of the time in a legal office abandoned in a conference room, eyeing the diet coke the lawyer never offered me, but since he did me good service I will not complain.

I do not enjoy driving downtown. Pedestrians there do not believe in the existence of cars, which puts an unfair onus on the driver- Nor do I like parking downtown, since it costs more than a bag of good frozen shrimp. Yesterday I parked in a garage designed along the lines of a really long drill bit. Ascending was like driving the Autobahn up the Matterhorn. Round and round I went at a creep . Descending was like coming down the luge. Try that in a Toyota Tundra.

I survived only to be dumped onto Charlotte Avenue into a long line of cars and drivers blinded by the sun as she declined to set behind the horizon. Everyone dealt with this by driving faster. This was unfortunate ,for TSU's Avon Williams Campus had just spit out a hundred thousand students. Dear God I prayed do not let me hit any of them and provoke a racial incident and the lead story on Channel Five. "Old white woman mows down a dozen of the black communities' most promising students".

By now my hands were one with the steering wheel and I did not know if they were coming off. Ever. Where was I now I wondered hoping it was not in the lane onto the entrance ramp of the Interstate. Then there she was- on my left- grimy dear old Baptist Hospital, shining like Our Lady of Fatima. At least I knew where I was. Going west . The sun still refused to set and my little orange low gas light came on.

On we sped. Past the Goodwill Store. Past McKay's. Past Nashville West. The sun was giving up. Help was on the way. Gas came next. I was going to live. Then I took the wrong lane and was marooned in the Walmart parking lot.

I saw a Subway. I went in. I had planned to cook, but now the dogs and I were having meatball subs.

Home at last. But no little dogs in the window. Only silence. Which meant I would find the trash strewn all over the floor and dog crap everywhere.

I was right. I told the beagle that I wished I had a gun, but he did not care. He was on his hind legs,looking for the sub.

Three hour later, late, I sped at thirty miles an hour over to The Big House, where I was working overnight in the clinic. I parked, ran in through Checkpoint, not noticing my Tundra's rear was three feet into the driving lane.

In the morning I found a warning on the Tundra's windshield.

"You are in a restricted space". Beneath it, handwritten these words:

"For God's sake, learn how to park".

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