setting: parking lot
time: exactly two years before the date of this post
i was sleeping in the backseat when a thump woke me up. i opened my eyes to see someone in the driver’s seat. there was no one else in the car when i went to sleep. i looked at the figure from the backseat of the car, confused.
“who the hell is this?” i wondered to myself with fewer, and far less intelligible words.
my first thought was that it was beelzebub, and that he had come to make me a long-awaited deal. i was homeless and living in my car at the time. physical exhaustion was compounded by “everything else” exhaustion; after so much of that, you find yourself open to offers. so, yeah, i thought lucifer had come to make a thing or two right for me.
after a full second of time, maybe two, i let go of the hope that i was about to sell my soul to the devil. allowing my next thought: "it might be another homeless person. one who just needs a place to sleep." i was aware that even though i was homeless, i was fortunate to have a car. had i not had mine, i might have just looked for someone else's car to sleep in as well. however, that thought was considered dumber, and put away quicker than the one about the morning star.
at last i remembered pulling into the lot that evening. by this point in time i had been sleeping in this lot for a few months. every night before bed, i would drive in through the far entrance of the lot, and then circle the perimeter, searching for either cops resting, or couples parking. if i saw either, i went to my second parking lot choice. on that night's patrol, i noticed an open u-haul truck. i thought it was odd but it was not a cop or a couple so i thought nothing else of it, parked and went to sleep knowing but being too tired to care that my car door was unlocked.
there i was under my blanket, awake for no more than five seconds, remembering the u-haul truck and thinking, "fuck i'm getting robbed." and not just me; every car in that lot was getting robbed. the difference was that my car was my house, i was home, and i had left my front door unlocked. sorry, differences.
five seconds after that thump woke me, i lept at the person sitting in the driver’s seat. i put him in my version of a chokehold. he was wearing over-the-ear headphones. i broke them. he bit me. i held on to him with my right arm. with my left hand i opened the rear driver’s side door, making sure to get as much of myself out of the vehicle as i could, before letting him go. when i released him, he opened the driver's door, exited the vehicle, and fled into the dark parking lot. i did not chase him. that would have been dumb.
i got back in to my car; the driver’s seat this time, and drove away. on my way out of the parking lot, i passed him and his cohort, they yelled for me to come back and fight. i did not. that would have been dumb.
i drove to parking lot number two feeling a sense of pride that would be very short-lived, and replaced by a greater sense of loneliness. i was proud because i had just proven that i have no flight in me. i’m all fight. it never once occurred to me that i could literally just cower under my blanket. i was also proud because i had just defended my property with my bare hands. i became painfully lonely when i realized that i had no one to share my pride with. i was alone. i was homeless. i was both of those things at the same time. i went back to sleep.
whenever i think about that night; i remember it as the loneliest night of my life. but i also remember it as the night god used me. it is not lost on me that i jumped up from out of the backseat of a car, and choked out the person in the driver's seat. having that happen to us is one of all of our top five biggest fears. it's the exact opposite of dying alone! with that in mind, i’m sure that somewhere there is a male, race unknown, light complexion, approximately five feet and ten inches tall, one hundred and eighty to two hundred pounds, whose “scared straight” testimony is about the evening of october eleventh, two thousand and seventeen, between the hours of two a.m. and three a.m., at [location retracted because this is a true story, it is illegal to sleep in your car in san diego, there are people sleeping at this location now, and this might be the admission of an assault on my part.] in san diego, when he tried to rob satan’s car.