“You can’t park like that.”

“Excuse me?” I reply, rolling down my window with a smile.

“You can’t park like… THAT!” The security guard repeats with only the slightest hint of exasperation as she makes a kind of gesture with her arms. Obviously attempting to indicate the manner in which my vehicle is positioned, perpendicular to the painted parking stall lines and thus occupying more than four stalls.

My mischievous internal mirth-making mind immediately entertains the most relevant of responses from my extensive repertoire of clever, quipp-ish come-backs like… “Well I obviously CAN park like this since I obviously AM parked like this.” Or perhaps… “Actually ma’am, I’m parked EXACTLY like I’m REQUIRED to park. CDL and para-transit regulations are very clear on this.”

Heh… of course, one look at my audience was enough to quickly dissuade such silliness, smarminess or Tom-foolery. The 50-ish, small-but-very-fit woman in her crisp, neatly-pressed uniform will be having none of that and anything less than immediate compliance would be met with extreme prejudice indeed.

Yep… she’s ex-military. No doubt about it. Probably a retired MP.

Yep, this particular personage of power now confronting me is obviously used to dealing with rampant insubordinate behavior and I would do well to display my soft under-belly as quickly as possible.

Never mind the fact that the parking lot we now share is rather large and very nearly empty. Never mind the fact that the few cars here, are nowhere near my “like THAT!”-parked vehicle. Never mind the fact that the small shopping plaza which the parking lot serves, will be open only an hour or so more and there is likely to be zero more cars coming in to find parking.

Never mind.

I’d just pulled in to pee, and perhaps chill a bit for the half-hour or so still to wait till my next pickup. I guess I will be finding someplace else to do this.

I warm-up my well-practiced friendly smile but before I can speak, the obvious boss-of-this-place cuts me off with a curt, command-like comment.

“I’m about to close the restroom so if you need to use it, you’d better do so now.”

“Thank you ma’am but I already did. That’s why I’m here. I’ll be pulling out right away.”

“Well ok then.”

Well, ok then. I pull out and continue with my usual navigation of this netherworld of sorts I seem to find myself in as of late. A world where little is clear. A world where the texture and colors of experience seem to be all-a-jumble, and my where-with-all is challenged at every juncture. Like I’m an avatar in some kind of on-line computer game and I don’t know the rules. Guess I’ll just have to wing it.

Considering this, the clearly-defined lines of control, the colour of power represented by this woman I’d just encountered (and quite successfully navigated around IMHO) is a welcome guidepost. A beacon to which my netherworld-weary countenance can tether to and chill.

Considering this, I welcome this woman in her uniform. Her colors of power might just be (hopefully) tinted a bit pink and thus touched by at least some compassion. Better her anyway, than some semblance of an “I’m the MAN!” kind of man, with bones to pick and ego-wounds to hide.

That would suck.