As I was walking along Columbia Road this morning, I noticed a driver having a difficult time parallel parking her car.
"Can you help me?" she laughed, shouting at me as our eyes met through her rolled down passenger window.
"Um. Of course," I said. "You just need to pull up a bit."
She pulled up a bit.
"Put it in reverse now."
She put it in reverse.
"Now turn the wheel."
And as she turned the wheel -- the wrong way -- the car slowly moved farther away from the curb and into busy morning traffic. She stopped. She pulled up again. And she pleaded through the passenger window "Can you help me?"
I stood there a bit dumbfounded, looking around to see if anyone else was witnessing this odd start to my morning. "Would you like me to..." and before I could finish my sentence, the car was in park, the driver side door was open, and she was walking toward me with a big smile.
"Thank you. Thank you. Oh...THANK YOU."
"I guess I'm parking this car," I thought.
I walked into the street. I opened the car door. I plopped down into the very low driver seat. I adjusted the rearview mirror. I put the car into gear. And then I wondered.
"What would happen if I just drove off right now? Straight down Columbia Road. Onto Calvert. Down the hill into Rock Creek Parkway. And from there... who knows? A new start. A new life. A new identity. Anything's possible! This is a rare and unique opportunity. The kind that people dream about... and here it is! What are you going to do?"
I took a deep breath. I put the car into reverse. And then I eased that hatchback into the ample parking space.
"Oh.... thank you so much," she smiled. "Have a good day."
I smiled back. I already had.