Parking with strangers

There are few thing weirder than the cell phone waiting lot at the airport. Especially the Sea-Tac Airport, where driving into the lot feels kind of like you just got tricked into driving yourself into the impound.

I already try to avoid eye contact with neighbor cars at stoplights (unless of course we're racing. Or making flirty eyes). Here, it's almost impossible to keep to yourself. Even if you manage to park facing a wall, or in Sea-Tac's case, one of the four barbed wire topped chain link fences surrounding the lot, neighbor car are coming and going at a pace that rivals my attention span when playing DJ with a loaded ipod (i.e. lots of turnover) and every time they come or go, there's that moment of concern where you don't really think the driver won't hit you while pulling in or out.

My luck tonight was a middle slot where you're staring straight into their faces, or headlights, as sometimes is the case, because no one expects to stay long in the park and wait, and why turn off your brights anyway. Most people are either pretending to sleep (because it just isn't possible to come anywhere near REM with an arrival just a phone call away. If you wanted to sleep, you'd have stayed home to nap and made your friend wait with their bags like a normal passenger), keeping busy with phones, books, or newspapers (the best kind of neighbors, in my opinion), and no matter what, everyone is eying the few randoms who pace around the lot with their dogs or cell phones as if they didn't know that there's a wholly captive audience in all these parked cars bored out of their minds with nothing else to look at but their wandering. It's a like a drive-in theater with no entertainment.

The guy next to me seemed to be coming and going from somewhere in the back of the lot (maybe there are snacks) and rummaging around his trunk, which was unfortunate since I was parked in and he was parked out so we exchanged obligatory smiles three different times until he finally stayed put and left me be to make mental commentary on all the neighbor cars' choices of rear view mirror hangings (it doesn't take flowers, ballet slippers,or a grad cap pendant to remind me that I don't plan on decking out my car in that fashion [though it does make me miss Thai taxis with enough Buddha bling and fresh jasmine hanging from the mirror that the driver has to hold it steady around corners]).

Better off testing your luck idling at the arrival terminal.

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