GuysterRules (guysterrules) wrote,

The price for a parking spot

My apartment building towers over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration complex, the place where, among other things, they name the hurricanes. When I can’t find a free guest parking spot behind my building, I turn to NOAA’s lot. Because it’s part of the government, and national security being what it is, I have to show an ID to enter it.

The person in the kiosk usually takes a cursory look and waves me along. Last night, however, the guard took a special interest. A woman of size and color, she grabbed my California license out of my hand, held it close to her eyes, and peered back at me.

“That you?”

“Yeah.” I flashed a smile, one that would quickly fade.

“You look a whole lot younger there.” My smile was still in place as I was calculating whether she was questioning my identification’s authenticity, or if she was making a crack.


“I mean, a lot younger!” Yes, lady, thank you for clearing that up. I had a fleeting thought that I’d tell her she probably looked a whole lot thinner on her driver’s license, but I wanted a parking spot and I was too tired from the workday to wrestle with her.

“I felt a whole lot younger there, too.” An uncomfortable chuckle dribbled out.

She shook her head, clutching my license. I waited. “That really you?”

“Yeah, that really me.” My teeth gritted through the sarcasm of my bad grammar.

She pushed the button for the gate to rise, and handed back my ID, shaking her head. I put it in my wallet, and looked at her. “I feel a lot younger than I look.” I was suddenly desperate to save aged face.

“Well, good thing cause you don’t look it.”

I drove on, found a spot, and fumed my way home.
Tags: the dc experience

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