By: Cody Grosshart
Call me Ahab, as I go crazy searching for my own white whale – that last open parking spot. Despite the fact that I have withstood this scourge many times before, the stress produced by the search has never waned. Every day I fight this battle, and every day I see the same obstacles stand in my way.
The journey begins from home, but it does not take a toll on my soul until I reach the small high school outside of the parking lot. As I approach the high school, the pace of the journey comes to a complete stop. The cars in front, behind, and around me move as slow as ice sheets in the Arctic Sea. What is the result of this stalemate? It will take twice as long to go this last half-mile as it took me to go triple that distance. Every second of this crawl shaves away another sliver of my patience.
After finally making it through the maze of minivans and crossing guards, I am finally able to approach the parking lot; however, the search is far from over. As I turn into the main entrance of the parking lot, I come to see that the hindrance of the nearby high school is not left to the cross walk alone. In fact, as I slowly snail through the parking lot, I see that half of the automobiles that are occupying spaces are without a purple parking tag. As young children escape from these vehicles and dart across the street to their homeroom classes, I began to grow irate…mostly from the irony that despite the fact that these parents are so set to get their children to class on time they never mind keeping law students from doing the same.
After passing the first wave of inconsideration, I approach the next complication – the left-behind vehicles of undergraduate students. This problem spans from the fraternities across the street to the individual students who believe that they have beat the system. At this point, my anger grows to an unimaginable level. Not having access to a tow-truck leaves me with the only option of blowing that hot air into my sails and continuing my search.
I come to the narrow pass of the semi-circle that borders the west side of the building. It is here that it never fails that I come to see some of the worst parking attempts in the entire lot. Some cars are flush together, some cars are parked in an incredibly questionable manner, and of course, there is also at least one huge truck that greatly reduces the already limited space in the area. At this point, I can’t help but find myself slamming my fists on my steering wheel and cursing the existence of all the people.
At this point, I am forced to make a loop around the building to approach the parking lot from a different angle. I begin to question just how necessary it is to go to class today. I start to question if there even is a free space at all. Maybe there really is no end to this search. My anger has grown into pure stubbornness, and I will stop at nothing to find that coveted space. However, the amount of time it has taken to reach this point of being dead in the water on Highland road with class quickly approaching has forced me to take anything available.
Finally, I am able to find just enough space on the side of the parking lot on Dalrymple to lay anchor. Just in the nick of time, I am able to travel through all levels of possible anger. I have imagined too many different ways to deface an automobile. I have started my day in a horrible way. As I tromp through the parking lot mumbling to myself like the old man down the street, I come to realize that there may be no true solution to this problem. In this sly moment of clarity, I am torn as to whether that lack of control should provide me with relief or just add more fuel to the fire. Alas it is a battle that we must all bear – a burden that I cannot spare.