I didn’t recognize the car, so I figured it had to be a guest, and not a tenant.
“I bet he tries to park in my assigned space,” I said to myself, as I followed the car through the lot. “I just know it. Everyone tries to park in my assigned space. The cable guy, the electric guy, the escort who spends Friday nights with Downstairs Neighbor Dave. Look! He’s barreling past all of these available guest parking spaces so he can be closer to the buildings – the jerk!”
As if following a script, the car slowed down and turned into my assigned space.
I pulled behind it and peeped the horn. A young man climbed out of the car and looked at me, frowning.
“Hey!” I said, rolling down the window. “You’re in my space!”
The man continued to frown. “I’m sorry?”
“You got to move, pal. You’re in my assigned space!”
The man shrugged. “No. I’m not moving my car.”
He opened the back door and started rifling through some junk sitting in the backseat.
“Excuse me?” I climbed out of my car and approached him. “Buddy, you’re in my space. This is my space!”
The man kept his back turned as he searched for something in the backseat. “It’s not your space; it’s mine.”
“How can you say that?” I asked.
“Because I got here first. First come, first served. It’s a rule. Don’t you know the rule?”
“That rule doesn’t apply because it’s my space! I’m a tenant, and this is the space they assigned to me.”
“But how do you know it’s your space? It looks like all the other spaces.” The man pulled a sweatshirt out of the car and turned around to face me.
“It doesn’t look anything like the other spaces!” I said. “The resident spaces have white lines, and the guest spaces have yellow. Plus, the resident spaces are numbered, and I’m No. 28. That’s how I know it’s my space: because it’s clearly marked No. 28.”
“So is that also the number of your apartment?” the man asked, pulling on his sweatshirt. “No. 28?”
“No. My apartment is No. 256.”
“Then why is your space No. 28? Shouldn’t your apartment number match your parking-space number?”
“I just live here,” I said. “I don’t assign the numbers.” Keep reading…