Lila couldn't remember where she parked, in general.
Specifically, she put her key in the wrong Camry, and it worked. She started to drive away, but stopped when a man belly-flopped onto the hood, his eyes ringing with consumer terror. Through the glass, she read the obscenities from his lips and forgave him vigorously for denting her hood. She mouthed an apology, and returned his car to a similar parking spot. He said his name was Alan.
After the hood dent was pulled—she paid for half, over pad thai—and they were married, she drove his Camry all the time, and often forgot where she parked it, even while she remembered the story or lost her keys.
Usually, Lila didn't forget where she parked their house. Looking everywhere, she found some keys in his pocket. No key worked so she turned around, tripping over a bush that shouldn't have been there, and caught her balance in a patch of wet paint on the side of the house. She didn't like the tone, but coping was easier when she realized it wasn't her house, or her smudged jacket.
It took her a while to get home from there, but after her and Alan were divorced, the wrong house went up for sale, and repainting. She bought it with her share of the assets, and moved in. She had her own keys made, and tossed his into the bush.
The Priest's grey nimbus in a niche where he dressed discreetly.
I will not sleep here tonight. Home also I cannot go.
A voice, sweetened and sustained, called to him from the sea.
Turning the curve he waved his hand. A sleek brown head, a seal's, far
out on the water, round. Usurper.
-- James Joyce, "Ulysses"
This page was last modified on 2011 December 20. "Parked" by John Sullivan is Copyright ©2003 - 2011, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.