By: Krish Amani
The hand grabs the wheel, knuckles white as the grip gets ever
tighter. The belt is tight across the chest. The foot pressed
against the brake. Almost there. A naive target is spotted, and
closing fast. A few more feet and a completely relaxed and carefree
UCLA student on the premed track will be perfectly in place. The
driver licks his lips in anticipation. The blue and yellow sweatshirt
edges closer before the driver shifts his foot over to the gas, slamming
down. The car shoots forward, racing toward the prey. Startled but
not surprised, the runner jumps to the safety of the clean, pristine
Westwood sidewalk. The driver and runner lock eyes for a brief but
seemingly unending moment before both go on their separate ways.
The driver circles the block, searching for what he has always yearned
for but has yet to find in the concrete jungle of Westwood: parking.
His hand slams the wheel in frustration before his eyes widen in
surprise. He blinks in shock, as a narrow spot that can barely fit half
a Prius stares at him. He pulls up in position, ready to parallel park.
His hand flitters over the radio, turning it down. No music could
ever compare to the soothing sound of scraping a parked car while
trying to park. The metal grating fills the air. The driver shudders with
delight, the hairs on his arm standing up with satisfaction. Unable
to fit, he pulls out of the spot, trying again. Once again, the grating
echoes around Roebling, the driver shuddering again. It’s not going to
work. He continues on his route, searching for another casual runner
or an open parking spot. Whichever comes first.
The driver eventually decides to go home. This morning’s hunt was
unsuccessful, with both his prey and an open parking spot eluding
him. Maybe he can try again later under the dark cover of night. He
zips onto the highway, cutting off drivers left and right. He leans back,
nestling into his seat. Finally at home.
There are lots of good things about living in LA. The housing
is always spacious and comfortable. There are always pleasant
homeless people to talk to in the street. There is easy and free
parking on every road. But the one thing no one loves are the bad
drivers racing around the city. Forget improvements to sex ed. We
need better drivers ed. LA needs change and we need it now.