Coffee Shop Confrontation


Dear angry human,
     I am in such good spirits pulling into my favorite coffee shop to finally get some writing done. And to my awe and surprise, a spot is opening up right in front. One of three spots! Oh happy day! I see you, parked in the spot next door. You’re in a white SUV. I see you, with both of my eyes. Just parked there, engine running, the entire time my spot is being emptied. My one glorious, beautiful spot right in front of my favorite coffee shop. Once it is finally empty and ready for me to pull in, I slowly start turning the wheel to make my entrance. I’m so lost in euphoria over the sheer fact that I’m getting such a premier parking spot, that I must not notice that you and your brain decided it was a good time to start reversing. Of course this shocks me back into reality and I quickly give my horn a slight beep just incase you’re coming out of your own euphoric high and don’t notice me pulling in as you’re reversing. I can only assume you don’t notice, because what sensible human being would reverse into a car on purpose. Just a quick tap on the horn, from one happy driver to another, just to make sure everyone is in their right mind and knows what is going on.
     As I finally nestle my bright yellow beetle into her new home, I feel a deep sense of tension emanating from the left side of my face. I turn to see you are still there, you haven’t reversed, you haven’t gone anywhere. Which is surprising seeing as what a rush you were just in to pull out that you didn’t even notice my bright yellow car. Your window is down and you’re staring at me, pretty intently I might add. I know I’m attractive, but, sir, it’s rude to stare. So I give you a coy smile and bat of my eyelashes to placate you and turn away to start gathering my things. But its still there. That burning sensation on the side of my face. So I turn back and see you still staring at me. I give you a confused look, my eyebrows bunching together in the middle of my forehead, my mouth turned down in a curious frown. And then you motion me to lower my window. Maybe you need directions. Maybe you want to say hi, and wish me well. Tell me how cute I am. Warn me that my back tire looked flat. Aw what a nice guy, thank you, of course I’ll lower my window. So I do. And you proceed to tell me to “be more careful” when I’m driving. This catches me off guard, as it would any person getting reprimanded by complete stranger. So I quickly re-examine the past minute or so and remember the incident. Remember the friendly tap on my horn. And I reply, with a smile might I add, “I’m sorry, I just wanted to make sure you saw me”. Honest. Simple. You don’t seem to think so. You then tell me, “That’s what those lights on the back of my car are meant for, so you can tell that I’m reversing. I don’t care about the spot, just be more careful next time”.
     Now here is where you start tripping over yourself, presumably in your irate fury. I can only imagine how hazy your brain must be as all that smoke is billowing out of your ears. But now you’re fighting three battles. First, you want to make sure that I properly understand the anatomy of a motor vehicle and the function of all its parts. A noble endeavor, and I appreciate the passion you have for my education, but I assure you I passed drivers ed and I know what reverse lights are. Second, you want to make sure that I am careful from now on. Because, you’re right sir, before this interaction with you I had never even considered being careful whilst driving a car. Hell, I never considered being careful, period. I was roaming around this world running with scissors, having unprotected sex and using dirty needles. So for that, I thank you. And the final piece to your battle cake, you want me to know that you don’t care about the spot. Not one bit. You don’t care about the spot so much, you are willing to take time out of your busy day of enlightening young female drivers to stop everything and tell me how much you don’t care about the spot. Well, that is a lot for a simple-minded child like me to digest. And all at once? I don’t know if my puny brain is going to handle all of this brand new information. But after I take a big gulp and swallow that enormous amount of knowledge you drop on me I let you know “I’m sorry, I didn’t see your reverse lights. I wasn’t honking to be mean to you, I just wanted to make sure you saw me.” Honest. Simple. You don’t seem to think so. You continue to drive your third point home, “I don’t care about the spot, just be more careful next time”.
     Clearly you don’t care what I have to say, you’re so engrossed in your apathy for the spot. So I nod and begin to turn away and then realize what you said…you don’t care about the spot. I don’t remember ever accusing you of caring about the spot. Who am I to judge what spot you care about. Maybe you feel like I think you care about the spot and that’s upsetting you. So I whip my head back around and ask, simply to put your anxiety to rest “Did you want this spot?”. It feels like a ridiculous question as it leaves my lips because of course you didn’t want this spot. You were parked alongside it as it previous owner was exiting, probably muttering obscenities under your breath about what a terrible spot it is; where as I was parked behind it with my blinker on assuming the proper “I want this spot” position. But I ask you anyway, just to clear up any confusion. With a roll of your hate-filled eyes you reiterate, “I don’t care about the spot, just be more careful next time”, disdain dripping from every word, bubbling at the side of your mouth. I give you a knowing squint and nod as to say, “I’m on your side”.  And as you furiously peel away, I just shake my head and think to myself, “What did the spot ever to do to you?”

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