Woke up this morning, poured my coffee, opened the paper, and discovered two teenage girls were (allegedly) raped a few blocks from my house on Wednesday afternoon, along my running path. I've made jokes about my neighborhood and just last night told a friend that I live in the 'hood and it's not safe to run at night, but even I'm a little startled by this new information.
In seemingly unrelated news, we've had a recent parking cluster f*ck at work. The state owns the building in which we work, but not the parking lot adjacent to it -- where we've been parking for the last nine years. The state recently discovered that it owns a parcel of land with parking lots about a block or so away from our building. This land was recently sold and some gazillionaire is going to build a boat-shaped cardiac unit (complete with a hotel) across the street from our local hospital/medical school. As a result, the people currently parking there need to move during construction and we can't park there until it's completed. Still with me? As of January 3rd, eveyone had to shift parking: we're now in some vacant lot out on the Elizabeth River that is several blocks away from our building and the people in our newly discovered parking lot a couple blocks away in another direction are parking in the lot adjacent to our building. There are some on-street parking spots much closer to our building than the lot we've been assigned and those of us who start at 7am are scrambling to get to those spots first.
It was with this rush to get on-street parking in mind that I chose to not scrape the frost off my car windows this morning. The back window was completely covered, but the windshield was speckled and I felt I could see well enough to hit the road -- after all, I had to get to work before everyone else so I could get a spot and I just didn't have time to scrape!
I was driving down my street and decided I could probably use a little more visibility. Mistaking my windshield wiper fluid for some magical frost-melting liquid, I sprayed my windshield, hit the wipers, and completely covered my windshield with frost!! I couldn't see a thing! I managed to pull the car over -- at the exact spot the girls said they were raped. Charming.
I hopped out of the car and went to the trunk for my ice scraper. I forgot that Bodhi's dog bed was back there along with the "One Way" sign my friend Michele and I stole from a baby shower last weekend. The shower was at our friend Michelle's in-laws' house and when we got there her husband Chris was pointing out all the roadway signs his father had stolen over the years. The one at the end of the driveway was a "One Way" sign and when Michele and I were leaving later that day, I suggested we steal it. I'm not entirely sure why. Our plan is to tie balloons to it and leave it on Chris and Michelle's front lawn when the baby arrives.
So, it's dark out, I'm parked on the side of the road at the site of an alleged rape, and I'm digging around in my trunk trying to find my ice scraper that's buried beneath a dog bed and a "One Way" sign attached to two PVC pipe stakes. It's also 20-something degrees out, I'm freezing, and my bangs keep falling in my face so I can't see very well. Shake bangs away from face, look behind me for approaching rapists, duck back into trunk, shake bangs away from face, dig frantically for scraper. I never did find the damn thing and instead chose an "AM Gold" CD case as a substitute. I scraped off a 2 foot square area of the windshield, hopped in the car, and off I went.
Even with the delay, I was still able to snag the last available on-street parking spot. Whew!