Power Love

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02 July 2008

Next to the building I work in, there is a parking lot. George is the king of it. Whenever I drive to work, I ask him, “When are you gonna hire me?” George usually parks the cars in his parking lot kingdom, but he lets me park mine. This is either because he trusts me, or because of that dead-body odor that sneaks out of my trunk. Regardless, I can park my car like a pro, backing into any spot in the lot, so I think he should hire me. George laughs when I suggest this. I happen to know he has a weakness for Amstel Light, among other things, so I plan on getting him really drunk one day and then staging my parking lot coup. George is on to me, though. “This job. It’s tough. You wouldn’t like it.” This is what he says to me when I hang out with him on my morning break. We watch the people walk by and talk about the weather. On weekends, George washes his car, and his wife’s car, and drinks beer in his backyard. His kids live in Phoenix. His favorite thing to do is grill out and have his neighbors and friends over. “You,” he says to me, pointing an index finger that is wrinkled and scarred and sunburned. “You come to my house. Then you eat. You’re too skinny.” On Fridays, between 9am and 1pm, George watches the west side of the street. Whenever someone parks at the meters, he runs over to them, “No park!” he snaps. “No park!” Then he points at the sign—a city sign; no parking; 9am—1pm; Fridays; April—November; TOW ZONE. A lot of times people ignore him. When they come back and their car is gone, they look embarrassed.