By Elie Doubleday
Senior parking has been atrocious all year. For the first two weeks if you weren’t at school by 7:30 it meant you weren’t parking at the field. Then our saviours Kate P. and Sierra W. sorted it out and I was graced with a carpool spot in the upper lot and a flimsy piece of paper bearing the words “DOUBLEDAY UPPER LOT CARPOOL” which I have now photocopied so I have one for each of our family cars. I’ve been waiting for this spot since last year when I heard it would be an option, and now that the weather is rainy, a spot closer to the school is really paying off.
The new pass guaranteed me one of the five upper lot spots, so my first day using the pass I was excited to be able to leave home later. We were within a minute of being late to school. Since, I’ve been working on finding the optimum departure time. For the next 3 or so days, things went fine. Stellar even! Then the parking monitors were selected and last week things started going downhill.
Monday morning I pull into one of my assigned spots and turn to my sister in the passenger seat, telling her to put the pass on the dashboard. Then I look down to take the key out of the ignition. When I look up, I find Nicholas Corn and Charles Chilly glaring through my driver-side window, arms crossed, blocking my exit. I flinch. This is unexpected. I open my door a sliver to ask if I may exit the car, and Corn says yes, backing up slightly to allow me to fit. They follow me to my trunk where, with the rest of my carpool, I grab my backpack. Corn and Chilly begin rifling through the items still back there asking if every other thing contained drugs.
Tuesday morning I pull into the parking lot, circling around to my spot, only to find all five carpool spots are already occupied. Meaning someone is in my spot. Someone who shouldn’t be. And to make matters worse, Corn and Chilly are NOWHERE TO BE SEEN. So I’m stuck stalling, blocking traffic, while someone from Calla S.’s carpool goes to tell the parent in my spot that it was reserved for me. When I later confronted Chilly in the hall about his absence during my plight, he calmly told me he and Corn only work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Wednesday morning I pull into the lot, repeating to myself that Corn and Chilly will be there, so don’t freak out. They are drinking coffee and watching me pull in; judging. As I climb out of the car, struggling to get the suicide doors open in the little space between my car and the one next to me, Chilly asks me how long my commute to school is. I think for a minute before responding with a vague “it depends.” He studies my car, before commenting on how I must get up really early to make it to school on time from South Dakota. That’s when I remember my car has a license plate from South Dakota. He’ll probably write me up for that. Then he tries to confiscate my first aid kit.
Thursday was, thankfully, uneventful.
Friday morning I pull into the lot and Juan Diego is there, along with Corn and Chilly, filming the parking. Apparently they’re now making a cop show about this. It figures that as I pull in, I pull forward too far and have to reverse. I know I’m bright red as I exit the car. The camera comes closer and Corn and Chilly begin introducing me and my carpool. They refer to me as Mrs. Doubleday. I’m not actually married, however. They bring the camera around to the back of the car to film us removing our backpacks. Let me tell you, that’s something that’s hard to do smoothly. We all looked like idiots. Once again, they begin going through my trunk, pulling out the emergency kit and holding it up to the camera. Chilly announces there are drugs in it, that he must confiscate it, and that I’ll most likely be detained later that day (I wasn’t, but was on edge all day). Then they pull the camera around to the side to show how close I was to the yellow line. Technically, I was inside it, but they wrote me up anyways.
If this is how my first week went, what should we expect in the months to come? No one is safe. Guard your valuables. Drive slowly. Don’t show fear. Be ready. They’re always watching.