Last night I met friends in LoHi — oh Denver, with your bizarre naming of neighborhoods — for dinner. It’s been a cold week, so that record-breaking snowfall has turned into slush and large stretches of ice. I circled the block until voila! Amazing! There was a large spot available that I could nose into. Parallel parking isn’t among my strengths.
Okay. Driving isn’t among my strengths.
Little did I realize any seasoned Denver driver would have seen that spot two blocks away and thought, “No way. You are never going to get out of there.”
Compare this to my, “Woohoo! Parking spot! Wait. Why won’t my car move forward? Wait. Why won’t my car back up? Wait. Why am I on a one way street with traffic barreling down on me and my car is 3 feet from the curb, now taking up two parking meters with the front left wheel stuck in a rather large pothole, while the rest of the car slides around on a block of ice?”
Full disclosure — I’ve already received an embarrassing number of parking tickets in my few months of living in Colorado. I knew leaving my car that far from the curb — while just barely out of traffic — and taking up two meters would surely result in a series of new yellow envelopes tucked sinisterly under my windshield wipers.
So, I did what any Phoenician who can’t move her car does. I flagged down strangers and handed them my keys. I asked for help. One lovely Samaritan jumped in and spent 15 minutes trying to navigate out of the hole. Problem being, I had a car both in front and behind me. If she gunned it, she’d likely fly into one or the other. But oh, how she tried. Patiently, kindly, with my tires smoking. Yet the native Coloradoan gave up, suggesting I call a tow truck.
Instead I filled the meter, met my friends for dinner and begged them to come with me back to the car to see if they could help. By the time we got there, the car in front had left giving me enough room to use momentum to rock the car back and forth in drive and reverse to get out of the pothole, off the ice and happily on the road home.
Needless to say, these are not issues you deal with living in the desert.
Driving home I realized this momentum maneuver is so much like writing a novel. Sometimes you get stuck. You beg strangers for help. You walk away hoping the problem resolves itself. You throw money at it. You have a stiff drink. You beg friends to listen, to look at it, to give you their opinion. And then, magically, you move backward five feet to grab the precious inch forward you are dying to gain.