Every once in a while I write down something that happened to me and think, if only I were writing a book this could be slipped into. So here’s the next best thing, I guess.
(Names have been changed)
We pulled into the parking lot of the park, relieved to have finally found it. There wasn’t a single parking spot left, aside from a handicapped one near the entrance.
“Thank God,” she said, touching up her lipstick in the mirror above the passenger seat. She looked too young to be Jennifer’s mother.
“We can’t park here,” I protested, as Al pulled into the spot.
“Yes, we can,” she replied with a smile. “I have a handicapped tag.”
She fished a blue sign out of her purse and hung it on the rear view mirror as Al got out to open her door for her.
“I’ve been on disability since 1974,” she said proudly.
All I could think about was this one time I took my mother into a public restroom at a zoo, when she was still able to go places in a wheelchair. The handicapped stall in the claustrophobic bathroom was occupied, and the woman who stepped out of it looked mortified when she saw us waiting.
We walked toward the park, and Al locked the car.
“I just love driving an H2,” Jennifer’s mom said. “They just make you feel so intimidating.”
She turned and smiled at me.
“Don’t you think?”