June 22, 2010
The Daily Hell Vol. 4
I sit in my van on Clinton St. I am waiting for the kitchen staff to empty the containers full of food I have brought to them. I have the sliding door open to provide some circulation. Last week I listened to the radio and drained the battery. So today I sit in silence.
I am parked in the bike lane across from the restaurant, illegally I assume. There is street parking here on Clinton St. and I normally park there, or double park just next to it, but for the last week, a small construction team has been re-routing traffic to make room for an enormous dumpster they have been filling with debris from a neighboring building.
The dumpster is parked on the right side of the road, blocking the bike lane and a good portion of the travel lane. To do this they are sending traffic into a long "coned off" stretch of the street's parking lane, a portion of which is directly in front of the restaurant. My parking there would block traffic, hence my new location.
Initially I was gruff with the crew about it, annoyed that I had to extend my food-laden walk by 20 feet, which I guess is the approximate width of Clinton St. I would ignore the crew, pulling the van up behind the dumpster, trapping as many cones under my tires as possible- the only little "fuck you" I am able to give, as if to say, "no problem Jag Off. You've got your job to do and I've got mine."
Bringing the food in, I would pile one or two more items than usual to each load I would carry, partly to cut down on the number of trips I had to make, mostly to more realistically exaggerate the amount of strain I was under and inconvenience they were causing me. Though I doubt that any of them noticed my dramatic grunts as they were running a constant bucket line of much heavier concrete and rubble to the dumpster as I attempted to demonstrably toil.
The situation was only made worse by the overly-friendly foreman who, rather than give me a hard time about coming too close with the van, would wave to me, move cones, guide me in behind the dumpster and offer to help me unload. BUT his offer was half-hearted at best and made when I was almost finished. He only carried one bucket of mixed greens.
Of course I soon realized that it was silly of me to allow such small inconveniences bother me. It's not the construction crew's fault their dumpster is preventing me from parking in my normal spot, and even if it was, it is pointless to be upset by it. We receive our burdens as they come, and whether or not they are of our own causing, they are ours to take responsibility for. Maybe what we really want when that happens isn't someone to blame, but just for someone to notice.