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Monday, April 12, 2010


I didn't notice until Saturday night. And the car ... was gone.
I don't use my car every day, but I do walk by it every day, and I frantically tried to remember when I last saw it. Used it Monday. Saw it ... Thursday. So. Friday. Friday. April. Cambridge. Street cleaning. My car had been towed, and rightfully.
At 11pm, after the shows at Improv Asylum got out, I hopped on a train to a distant station. Unfortunately, that's about all the information I had for how to get to my destination. I had called the lot and the man on the phone was nice, but distracted. "We're... near...a T stop. We're near... [ T stop ].
"Ok..." I started.
"Ok, great!" he chirped. "See you later on!"

After about an hour of walking around in the dark in Somerville encountering several pigeons that I thought were bats, and what was possibly a man breaking into a car,  I called a friend. "If I tell you where I am can you tell me how to get where I'm going?"  She confirmed that I had missed my destination by a long shot.

I finally made it to the lot. I was exhausted, hungry. My feet hurt. I just wanted my car back.

"Make, model, year?" the man at the desk asked. "Are you sure it's here?"
"I did call -"
The other man behind the counter turned at the sound of my voice. "I know which one it is," he said.
While the older of two men behind the desk sorted through the paper work he also barked a staccato drink order  into a walkie talkie. "Light. With. One. splenda."
I waited patiently. The walkie mumbled.
"No," the man said, " splenda. - Here, you talk to him." he pushed the walkie talkie to the younger man.
I pretended to watch the end of the How I Met Your Mother episode on their flat screen tv.

"Yeah I wanted the orange coolata. It's orange," he said into the handheld.
"Coffee?" came the question through the static." No, it's like an iced drink."

The older man sifted through a pile of papers. "Can you tell me again what your license plate is?"
Putting he walkie aside, the younger man said, "I know which one it is," and moved some papers around on the desk.
The walkie buzzed to life again, unintelligibly.
"Yeah, I mean, that's fine too, but I wanted the orange one. And...  what do you want?"
" -I just need your credit card, Miss. - I TOLD them. I want whatever that drink is, the iced one and I want it vanilla flavored. Light with a splenda."
"Yeah. Vanilla whatever. Just make it with a splenda. Light. - And can I see your license?"

The younger man spoke into the walkie: "yeah... with a splenda."

The older man: "Light."
Into the walkie: "Life."
The older man: "Light."
Into the walkie: "Life."
The older man: "LIGHT."
Into the walkie: "Oh. Light."

"You're all set now. It's in the first row." I walked outside. I found my car in the second row. And I completely understood the directions I had received earlier over the phone. It all made perfect sense.