Creeper

oh the tragic beauty of a creeper parking lot

oh the tragic beauty of a creeper parking lot

I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You’re walking down the parking lot and there’s someone following you.  At first you don’t think of it because lots of cars roll slowly through a lot looking for the next available space.  But then you realize that they aren’t passing you.  They are just idling behind you—creeping along at an unnaturally slow pace for a metal vehicle with hundreds of horses under the hood.

So you begin to speed up slightly—mind you, this is all happening within a split second, maybe two.  Your pace is now unnaturally faster than the ordinary person returning to their parked car, but you want to keep it just shy of utter panic.  The driver of the creeping vehicle must never know that you’re onto them.  Somehow you think your ignorance will be a shield in the time of distress.  Drawing attention to their distress-causing behavior may incite them to increase escalate said behavior.  God forbid.

Now you’re slightly jogging and even going so far as to attempt the whimsical “glance over the shoulder.”  Oh, boy.  That was risky.  And, of course, for all your stealthiness, you didn’t get a single impression of the driver.  There’s no way the perpetrator would ever be identifiable by the kind of picture the sketch artist would produce when you recounted the story under great duress at the local precinct.  Oh, no.  It’s over.

Then, suddenly, as you pass the last despicably dim, outrageously lofty street lamp on your row you realize—with great relief and slight pressure of apprehension lest your hope prove false—that your car is parked two rows over.  Two whole rows, though which your tiny human body can maneuver on a dime but the large bootlegger motorcar with its bulky sideboards cannot.  It must proceed to the end of the aisle.

You dart through, sure to find your vehicle right where you left it, far away from creeping drivers and glances askance, safely under the tree that’s—

Wait, no!  You didn’t park under the tree today because it was raining!  And when it’s raining—not 100 degrees and sunny—outside, you never park at the back of the lot like usual, you always park up never the front so you can dart with your shiny galoshes across the shorter, straightest path to the awning and arrive semi-presentatlbe for your big quarterly meeting!

And now, the Creeper is turning the corner of your aisle, you’re about to be discovered, not only in your idiocy, but in your total vulnerability.  There’s not even a fuckin’ call box out this far for God’s sake!

So you abandon all veneer of propriety and grip on reality and break out in a dead run for the front of the lot, praying and hoping the whole way that when your body is discovered by the morning news the next day that it’ll be so obliterated by the shot that they could never tell that you were assaulted from behind—running—running away—running—

“Hey, pal, you need a lift?”

And finally you turn around to face your doom: the mall security cop.

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