Lost: The Parking Garage Edition

I had my own little “HOLY SHIT THEY MOVED THE ISLAND!” moment yesterday after leaving work.

Now, I’ll tell you from the beginning that my mental state is indeed challenged at this moment. I used to think I was impervious to mental strain and anguish, but the older I get, the more ridiculous I am. Throw 27 feet of snow on top of that, and you’ve got me basically baring my teeth to strangers, hissing and drooling alone in the corner.

(Note: I promise, the Garish Chicken won’t always be about the Blizzard of 2011 and its consequences… please don’t lose faith in me yet. I’ve also been hormonally challegend lately.)

Yesterday evening, as the sun-ish was setting over a brown-snow covered Tulsa, I finally packed up my crap and walked to the garage, a bit downtrodden at the news that I’d be staying in a hotel the next evening because of an impending snow and that fact that a newspaper must go out. It sounds silly, maybe, but I was worried about my dog. He’s a homebody. He hates cars. He hates my neighbors. He’s kind of high-maintenance in stressful situations.

So I’m trying to remember where my car is parked at this garage in downtown T-Town that I had to park in because the lot I actually pay for was still covered in the aforementioned Heap Big Snow. Except for a narrow swath that some half-assed plow cut through it — the spots themselves were still covered in mounds of snow. Tres ridicule.

So I tried to find a spot along the street yesterday. Nothing. I finally relented and parked in this mammoth garage, taking a ticket from the Spit-Out-A-Ticket-O-Matic and then amazingly finding a covered spot. I was happy, though still jangly from driving in ice in circles trying to find a spot, and I didn’t pay close enough attention to where I parked.

That all came to a delightful fruition late Monday evening, while I traipsed up and down the seemingly senseless floors of the parking garage. It’s like a horror movie in there — flourescent lights that kind of work, going out every now and again, a drip around every corner, strange men walking around. And the floors aren’t named correctly. The bottom floor is “GC,” which I now know is “Gold Card,” for the Upper-Crust Parker. The next floor is “T,” wich still makes no sense. The next is “M,” for Main Mall, which is where you’re actually exiting on Main Street. The next is A, then B, C & D. Those kind of make sense. But the others? Gobbledygook.

Every time I rounded a corner, I expected a axe-murderer, but looked for my car, the one with the dented fender and no side-view mirrors (another story for another time.) I also had to dodge SUVs that drove like bats straight out of Hades while coming around the dimly lit levels. They might as well have flipped me off when they passed me, flaunting their giant vehicles and the fact that they found their cars. Douchebags.

Turns out, my car was parked on the T (for Terror) level. I was near tears by the time I found my Corolla, convinced it had been Raptured On Up to Heaven, or worse, towed. I tried to call the parking garage phone number to see if they’d towed it. No answer. I was ready to lay myself down in a puddle and start flailing and wailing.

I seriously lost what I thought was pretty intact sanity. I got in the car and talked myself down, realizing that my once-fearless self was seriously on vacation and overdue to come back home.  I’m ready to return to being level-headed, and being able to figure out the geometry of a parking garage.

Today, I’m parking near a major structure, and maybe even taking a picture of where it’s parked. I can’t handle another one of these episodes.

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