Do you remember that Seinfeld episode where they can’t find their car in the parking garage?
I have one better.
Let’s backtrack to yesterday. Sophia and I made up and my anxiety lessened.
“Do you want to go for dinner tonight?” she asks.
“Oh, by the way, we’re also going out with Andrew and his mother.”
“No way. I can’t handle him right now.”
“It’s his birthday. We have to.”
My anxiety level shoots up three hundred percent.
You see, I’m a Zen Master of Serenity compared to Andrew. He makes everyone nervous. Sophia is his only friend. Although he is basically a nice guy, he’s what they used to call “eccentric.” He’s a 35 year old Korean-born artist whose only real enjoyment in life is taking photographs of bugs. His photos are actually beautiful and artistic… Andrew would be a very successful artist if only he didn’t always get into fights with gallery owners. He’s brooding, sullen, and bad tempered. But I did say he was nice, right?
We make plans to meet outside of my apartment building at 6:30.
At 6:30, Sophia and I go outside and wait. 6:30. 6:45. Where is he? We get a phone call. He’s on the side street, waiting at the driveway of the parking garage.
“And hurry.” he says.
We rush over and see that Andrew and his mother are sitting in a car, but not in front of MY building. They are in the driveway of a parking garage of an apartment building ACROSS THE STREET. Not only are they waiting at the wrong place, but there’s a loud cacophony of honking horns. It seems as if Andrew is trapped between the gate of the parking garage and some RESIDENT of that building, a college girl, who wants to drive in with her Mercedes. She can’t move because Andrew can’t move. And behind her are TWENTY cars trapped on Hauser Blvd., which is always crowded during rush hour. So she cannot move back to let Andrew back out. Everyone is screaming at each other and honking. Andrew is beet red and screaming:
“Fuck you! Fuck You! Fuck you!”
Sophia and I jump into the car. The Mercedes Girl opens her garage gate with her remote.
“I think she wants you to go in,” Sophia tells Andrew.
“I’m not going in. I want to go backwards.”
“You can’t go backwards. You’re trapped. There’s a hundred cars behind us!”
Dear readers, have you noticed that so far, I haven’t said a word in this story. Usually, I’m the main character of my own tales. But this time, I was just sitting there wondering if my Tic Tac could be used as a placebo for Xanax.
The Mercedes Girl honks over and over.
“What the hell does she want me to do?” Andrew cries.
“Go in and then we’ll come right out again.” says Sophia.
Andrew drives in. Mercedes Girl drives by, shaking her head, angrily.
“Idiot! Jerk!” she says.
Andrew begins to look like one of those cartoon characters that have steam coming out their head. As Mercedes Girl parks in her spot, the gate closes, leaving us trapped inside.
“One of us has to talk to the girl,” says Sophia.
“I’ll do it,” volunteers Andrew’s mother.
Andrew’s mother heads over to Mercedes Girl. We watch as Andrew’s mother and Mercedes Girl talk it out. They seem to be working out the situation. Suddenly, Andrew jumps out and starts pacing in front of the car and twirling around like a dreidel.
“What’s going on with you, Andrew?” asks Sophia.
“She’s dissing my mother,” replies Andrew.
“I think you should get back into the car and let your mom get us out of here.”
“No one talks to my mother like that. Especially this bitch.”
“Andrew, c’mon, this whole thing is even sort of funny. Just keep calm.”
“What is that bitch saying to my mother? Hey you — what are you saying to my mother?!”
“You were wrong!” says Mercedes Girl. “How about apologizing?!”
“Never, you fucking bitch! Who the fuck do you think you are, driving around in that Mercedes…”
“There’s no problem anymore, Andrew,” says his mother. “She used to live in Seoul, too. Just go back into the car.”
“You need to control you son, Miss.” says Mercedes Girl. “He’s crazy.”
“You think just because you own a Mercedes that you’re better than me, you fucking…”
Sophia and I jump out of the car to calm him down. Mercedes Girl starts walking away towards the door leading to her apartment building’s lobby.
“Fuck you!” Mercedes Girl screams at Andrew, then turns to all of us. “Fuck all of you!”
Mercedes Girl enters her lobby and locks the door behind her, purposely leaving us behind with no way to get out.
We are trapped in the parking garage of someone else’s apartment building.
Sophia and I look at each other. Surely, the girl is going to come back and let us out of the garage.
We drive to the gate, hoping that it will open automatically .
We see a phone on the other side of the gate.
“Perfect!” says Sophia. “We can call the manager.”
But we need a key to get to the other side.
Sophia and I look at each other. Surely, someone will be either coming or leaving the building pretty soon.
An hour passes.
We are all sitting in the car, the engine running, ready to sneak out… as soon as someone opens the gate. But no one is coming or going. We can’t leave by car. We can’t leave by foot. We don’t know who to call. We’re stuck.
Sophia and I are now laughing at the absurdity of the situation. Andrew sits stone-faced and hasn’t said a word to any of us. But every few minutes he mumbles:
“Bitch… fucking bitch…”
Sophia and I try to cheer him up by saying that the whole scenario is hilarious. We sing “Happy Birthday.” He scowls.
Finally, Mercedes Girl reappears, carrying her remote for the garage.
“I’m going to let you out, but I want you to know you were wrong… You should be more considerate…”
‘Yes, we were wrong,” says Sophia. “You’re very kind to let us out.”
“Kind?!” screams Andrew.
He has finally decided to talk.
“You’re nothing but a fucking…”
Andrew’s mother puts her hand over his mouth, muzzling him, so we could get the hell out of that garage — and finally go to dinner.