PARKING TICKET written on a highlighter yellow envelope lying on the white kitchen counter. It screams! It’s been there for a week.
Initial Fine doubles if not paid within 10 days.
It was Tuesday evening. I met my friend, Shelli, for a beautiful evening on the patio at Hop Cat. We had fish tacos and crack fries. We got caught up on her move to a new home, her summer vacation at the cottage, her granddaughter. The sky was the perfect color blue. The sun illuminated the city scene. The sweat on the glass gave testimony to the humidity in the air. It was a perfect summer evening on the patio. I walked back to my car parked along the city street. I had been careful to put enough quarters in the meter and crank the knob to the right each time. The sun was still up because it is only a few weeks past the summer solstice. The heat rose up from the sticky pavement and radiated up my legs under my sundress. My rule of thumb for a perfect summer evening is one in which I can sit outside on a restaurant patio and not have to wear a sweater over my sundress. Yup, this was it. The perfect summer evening. Then I caught a glimpse of the parking ticket tucked under my windshield wiper. Its edge fluttered slightly in the soft breeze. My smile relaxed a little. My sense of self satisfaction was slightly tinged. If I had only put in two more quarters I could’ve saved myself $20.00. My summer evening had been perfect. I felt very alive. The summer evening sun was still warm on the back of my neck. The conversation was still swirling in my head. The parking ticket was just a tiny annoyance. I swatted away the thought of it as I tucked it away in my purse for the time being returning my state of mind to perfect.