Friday, January 20, 2006

Welcome to my Brain

At least ten people have demanded that I do this, so here goes. If you check my profile, you will note that I am at least 10 years older than most people who do this, so for my peers, a refresher: BLOG, the word, is not a contraction for a vintage Led Zep track. It's not a word I particularly like, in fact. I'd rather this were called "On-Line Journal," though that would suggest a level of intimacy I doubt I'll reach.

And so we begin.

Lets get this out of the way: if anyone in San Francisco wants to buy or sell a house, please contact me. I lied on my profile; I'm not just a dad. Though that is my most rewarding job, I am also a realtor. And a writer. And, as of yesterday, a guy who gets in strangers' faces when they make illegal u-turns in order to steal parking spots that I have patiently been waiting for.

Though I am known as someone who shrinks away from confrontation, something about this guy (notably the fact that he didn't look violent) sent me over the edge. We had a quick, ineffective exchange at the spot itself.

Me: Bad move there, pal. You made an illegal u-turn and then stole a parking spot from me.
Him: (unreasonably jaunty) Really? I thought it was pretty nifty!
Me: Yeah, well you would. Are you going to be here long?
Him: (still obnoxiously chipper) As a matter of fact I am! I'm having lunch at Zeke's!

Here's where he made his mistake. Why would he tell me that he was going to Zeke's? And why would he brag about this, since Zeke's is a run-down sports bar that I didn't even know served food? At the time I was unaware of his rotund build, and in fact was so angry that "Zeke's" didn't even register. I made some crack about how he was not cool and sped off.

But you know, I couldn't shake it. As I circled the block, looking in vain for parking, I seethed. Then, I saw him standing in the entrance of Zeke's, talking on his cell, older than me, African-American, wearing a ridiculous vest, black jeans and some dumb baseball cap advertising fishing. Not a care in the world. Me, driving around, parking spot-less, no guarantee of a spot at all, angry.

I found a spot shortly afterward, very close to Zeke's. And I thought, "Am I really going to confront this guy? Why would I do that? What could I hope to accomplish?" and worse, "What if he hits me?"

I figured that if I adopted the hurried, head forward but face up walking style of Ray Liotta in that part of "Goodfellas" where he pistol-whips that guy who pushed his girlfriend out of the car, that would intimidate the spot-stealer enough that he wouldn't hit me. I turned the corner and there he was, stupid vest and all, still inexplicably standing in front of Zeke's. Why out in front? Was Zeke's packed? Seemed unlikely.

He saw me as I got closer, and for my own benefit I'll imagine that he immediately knew he was in trouble. Here comes Ray Liotta, making a bad bad face. Maybe he even thought I might have a pistol in my stylish laptop bag. No, I had mints.

I got right in his face. "You know, if you're going to do something illegal and then steal someone's parking spot, you shouldn't be smug about it!"

He said nothing. Just looked at me.

Again. "You STOLE MY SPOT. You are a piece of garbage. Trash! And you shouldn't be smug!"

(side note: This type of rage would be much more effective if I swore. I don't.)

He was either thinking, "Geez! I hope I get out of this without getting hurt!" or "Maybe if I just stand here, this idiot will go away."

"HAVE A NICE LUNCH, YOU LOSER!" and I walked away, leaving him there, anticipating a nice Zeke's burger and a decent story to tell the bartender.

About halfway down the block, I smiled to myself and said, out loud, "You know, that felt pretty good."

4 Comments:

Blogger Ken Dunque said...

Lawrence - Re:your adventures at Zeke's->what would Chaim think? And on that note, is Chaim pronounced like chime?

KD

9:48 PM  
Blogger hocus_lopez said...

http://www.zekesbar.com/

Is it really rundown? I don't know, it looks pretty good to me.

11:00 AM  
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