Mazzuca: The parking space | VailDaily.com
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Mazzuca: The parking space

With all that’s going on in the world, instead of adding to the concern about the coronavirus, I thought a short story about the softer side of life might be in order. 

Silly me, I was opening the mail using my index finger instead of a letter opener and as I brushed hard against the edge of an envelope I experienced that, “Oh no, not now” moment — you know the one; between the awareness of what just occurred and the consequences of using one’s finger for a letter opener. 

I knew what was coming, nonetheless, I was hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe I really didn’t slice my finger. But no amount of wishful thinking changed the fact that I had a paper cut. (By the way, did you know that under a microscope the edges of sheets of paper and envelopes aren’t smooth at all, they’re more like a serrated bread knife?)

The real irritation with paper cuts is realizing we now have to deal with the superficial bleeding and finding just the right adhesive bandage to cover the wound. But no matter how many sizes and shapes of Curad or Nexcare bandages one may try, none ever seems to cover the wound just right.  

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Having said that, did take solace in the fact that at least I didn’t slice my tongue five minutes earlier while I was moistening the gum on a couple of envelopes I was about to mail — thank the Lord for small favors.

Paper cuts are one of life’s little irritants, and knowing there’s no such thing as a perfect bandage, I chose to wrap the wound in gauze using a small Band-Aid to hold it in place. It seemed to work well, at least until I tried to use my keyboard; so I decided to run over to the Village Market in Edwards and allow time for the bleeding to clot.

I usually enter the west parking lot at Riverwalk (the lot across from the theater and in front of Alpine Ambiance) from the south, but on this day the lot was full. Then suddenly I noticed the brake lights of a white SUV —Eureka! Someone is pulling out I thought and figured I’d grab that space.

But at almost the same instant, I noticed a black SUV pulling into the lot from the north and it was obvious the driver had seen those taillights too — oh boy — now it was a race to see who could get to the soon-to-be vacated parking spot first. 

Before I go further let me be perfectly honest about something. I wasn’t absolutely certain which of our vehicles had arrived at our respective entrance first; making the situation a touch more complex, the soon-to-be-vacated parking spot was about equidistant from the black SUV and my car begging the question — which of us had “squatter’s rights” to the parking space?

But Lady Luck was smiling on me as the driver of the white SUV chose to back out towards the north so she could exit the lot towards me. And since both my vehicle and the black SUV were approaching from opposite directions, the white SUV effectively blocked the black SUV, giving me a clear path into the newly vacated parking space.

But before pulling into the space it occurred to me that perhaps the black SUV (still blocked by the white SUV) had entered the parking lot a nanosecond before I did, I wasn’t certain. So instead of taking the now open parking space, I waited for the woman in the white SUV to pull away and pantomimed the words “It’s your space” to the driver of the black SUV and motioned him to take the spot.

The best description I can give of the expression on the driver’s face would be to call it one of astonished gratitude as he acknowledged my gesture.  One parking space, two vehicles and a photo finish as to who had arrived first, so why did I defer to the black SUV? I’m not completely certain, but if truth be known, I’m not sure I would have been quite so magnanimous if it had been my tongue instead of my finger I had sliced open.

It’s said no good deed goes unpunished, but in this case, as I exited to the north another vehicle was pulling out of a space just ahead of me in front of The Main Street Grill.  So perhaps Lady Luck was smiling on me after all.

Quote of day:  “Be kind whenever possible; and it’s always possible” — Dalai Lama


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