Thursday, March 5, 2009

I thought you might find this amusing

I recently took a chance on adding one of my ex-husband's friends as a Facebook friend. He recently commented that he was going out to his car in a parking garage, and I asked them if there was a strange man sitting in this car... this time. So, he posted a story this incident, which I later wrote a poem about.

So, without further ado:

Get the f*** out of my car!
Per request:

The infamous story was that I went back to my car in my downtown work parking garage after a Springsteen concert some years ago (about midnight). The garage was mostly empty as it was where I parked for work, and my brother (the cop) and I had walked to the concert from there. I opened my door--and found some guy sitting in my car! It was a really cold January night, and I assumed he was a homeless guy looking for shelter. That was my first thought. My second thought was then "why does a cold homeless guy have a large screwdriver, and what is wrong with the face of my radio?"

Ah, crap. I'm being robbed, I then thought. And, I realized, he's using MY screwdriver to rip out my radio! Now, keep in mind, it's midnight and there's no one around (my brother is waiting on the top floor of the garage in his pickup, waiting for me to drive up from a floor down; "You wait up here; I'll be fine" were my last words to him). This is not a good situation.

So, I yelled at him, "What are you doing in my car?!" He has this shocked look on his face, but does nothing. "Get the f*** out of my car!" I yelled. That helped. He was, luckily, in the passenger seat and I was on the driver's side. He started to get out, but I noticed he was taking my screwdriver with him. I said, "Leave the screwdriver!" He put it on the seat and got out and stood there looking at me. All I could think was that I wanted to be in the car and I wanted him OUT of the car. But he's just standing there with the door open.

"Close the door!" I told him. He started to close it. But then I thought, how do I know he won't jump in with me once I get in? So, I gave him this exasperated look (like he should know better) and said, "Lock it first." He did. "Now shut it." He did. But, he's still standing there.

"Now get the hell out of here!"

He turned around and started walking away. I jumped in, started the car--and realzed he'd taken my visor CD holder. Bastard. I drove upstairs, jumped out of the car and told my brother what happened. "Was he wearing a green Army jacket?" he asked.

"Yeah, I think so."

"He walked just past me! Get in! Let's get him!"

Let's get him? Then what? I'm thinking.

So, we drove pointlessly around the Warehouse District looking for a guy in an Army jacket who had a soon-to-be-disappointing collection of R.E.M. and Indigo Girls CDs. My brother the cop berated me the whole time for not tackling the guy and making a citizen's arrest or something. Thankfully, we never found him, and I got to drive home a weary victim of Cleveland street crime once again (third time's the charm!).

As a coda to this story, Jen wrote a poem about it, which I had completely forgotten until she reminded me. Some of the details were off, as I recall, but art is art and I trust her judgment. Now, if one of you is a musician and would like to set it to music...

And here is the poem:

The Woman Who Sat in the Car

Did you hear about the guy, this young guy, well, okay, maybe not so young, he was thirty-three, who walked out to his car one night... Oh forgive me, I'm getting ahead of myself.

One night this not-so-young guy kissed his new wife (his second, actually) before he went to a Springsteen concert (his second wife didn't want him to go; his first wife wouldn't have *let* him go, so he thought he was making progress). So anyway, this guy walked out this car after the concert, downtown Cleveland, parked in the same spot he uses for work, and when he opened his car to get inside, there was a strange woman in the passenger seat, actually sitting in the passenger seat of his car! The guy who was not young and not so newly married felt angry, scared, excited by the woman in his car, who was neither young nor old, and apparently not doing anything in his car besides sitting, so he asked her, and he felt his hand trembling around his tightly clenched keys, *What the hell are you doing in my car?* And she did not look at him, did not answer, so he told her to *Get the hell out of my car!* And she did it so quietly he couldn't remember hearing the door of the car click open. *Now lock the door and close it,* the guy told this woman, late at night in the parking garage, where they were the only two people in the world. And she did. So the not-so-young guy got into his car, locked his door, turned on his lights, and drove away from the strange woman who had occupied his car, who remained standing in the darkness as quietly as she had sat.

As you can imagine, there was great excitement when the guy told his second wife about the woman sitting in the passenger seat, which is usually the wife's seat in the car, which used to be the first wife's seat in that car, and his now wife told him he should not have gone to that concert (progress takes a step back) and she was glad she had not gone to that concert, and wait a minute,

why didn't he call the police?

The guy and his wife are talking about this in bed now (after all, they have to get up early for work tomorrow), they are in their pajamas, they have brushed their teeth, and all the while his wife has been talking about The Woman Who Sat in the Car (and who now seems to occupy the space between them). *How did she get into the car?* Had he locked it? Was he sure? Maybe he shouldn't use that parking space anymore. And he lies on his side of the marital bed and hears his wife, his new wife, his second wife, his current wife, say that maybe the woman was crazy, maybe she was dangerous, maybe she was waiting for a boyfriend who could have killed him or cut him or maimed him, and maybe he was lucky,

he could have been changed for life.

The not-so-young guy lies in his bed next to his second wife, whom he has newly married, one arm folded behind his head in the dark, staring at the ceiling, and he sees the strange woman sitting in the car, the exquisite stillness of her hands folded on her lap, the way her hair dipped forward so he couldn't see her face, the way she was sitting so quietly maybe she *was* waiting for someone.

And the last thought he has before he lies awake all night is that maybe,
maybe,
*maybe*
she was waiting there for him.



1 comment:

  1. The event was interesting - a bummer for your/your ex's friend, but your poem? AMAZING.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete