Passing our auxiliary parking lot of three much coveted units, I saw an elderly lady standing by an open-hooded car.
Her appearance and sweet demeanor reminded me of a Warner Brother's cartoon, the grandma owner of Tweedy-Pie, you know, the bird that always says, "I taught I saw a pussycat"?
Smiling my best Dexter smile I said "Hello" and walked on.
After purchasing a newspaper, a chance meeting with a neighbor, Eddie, found us both walking back up the hill. When we reached the sweet old lady, still standing beside her open-hooded grey car, Eddie gallantly asked, "Do you need help?"
"Oh no," she said, "I'm waiting for Triple A to bring me a new battery."
Eddie and I parted company and I was two sections into my paper when a tow truck passed by my living room window.
A mere two minutes later, Satan HIMSELF appeared outside that same window!
He was disguised as my next-door neighbor Bill.
I opened my window, but only part way (mindful never to grant evil forces a full run of your household)
"There's a parking space available down there," he said in a smooth and seductive voice. "Why don't you take it?"
"I don't know," I replied to Bill/Satan and after a long moment, "It seems kind of mean..."
Eventually the evil apparition drifted away from my window.
My wife, sitting beside me and a full spectator to my temptation, was appalled.
"What, you're not going to take it? That car has sat there unmoved for at least four months! I'd take our car down there myself if I wasn't in my robe."
I said nothing, sin of omission.
In a flash, my wife threw off her ritual flowered muu-muu and appeared instantly in street clothes. Car keys in hand, she flew out the front door. I glimpsed a head shaking in disgust as she charged our car down the street.
Feeling a bit queasy, I sought fresh air on our back deck.
A grey car was circling the park, like a mother bird searching for a nest.
A raven stood in outrage.
I wanted a shower then--and absolution.