Not sure where to start. Afraid to go to sleep anymore. It seems like my memories go from dreams to nightmares sometimes.
After appearing in court once upon a time, with my Dad and my girlfriend Maudie, they decided to ride home together and I was going to drive home alone. She and I had argued before, during and after court and to show me who was boss, she decided to ride home with my Dad. All I did was look at my ex’s backside, yes I did. She decided to ride home with Dad in his Cadillac, with air conditioning and let me “stew” on the way home in my mini van.
I had parked my van in a parking garage, a few blocks from the courthouse. It was a short walk, sunny day, I didn’t mind. When I got up to the level my van was parked, I noticed the lack of cars surrounding me and chalked it up to the time of day. It was late in the afternoon, the sun was beginning to wane and the shadows were growing longer, signaling the end of the day was drawing near.
I walked up the ramp to the 3rd level and there was my mini Ram van, parked right where I left it, facing down the slope, up against a concrete barrier. When I tried to start the van, I was greeted by a whirling noise, no action with the starter. I couldn’t decide if it was the battery or the starter. It just went click, click ,click.
The van was facing down hill, up against the concrete chock. I thought about pushing it off, because it was a 5 speed but I couldn’t push it back up the slope to face it downhill by myself.
I walked down to the guy in the booth taking the toll and told him my problem. He said he couldn’t leave his post, but the phone was on the outside wall by the elevator. I thanked him and used the phone to call home and make some one aware of my dilemma.
My step sister Sherry answered the phone and told me that Dad wasn’t there. I told her that I knew he wasn’t there yet, “We just left the courthouse, but would you tell him the battery was dead on my van and I needed a jump, tell him he needs to hurry before the place closes up for the day?”
She told me that if saw him she would tell him, “where you at?” I looked up and saw a sign on a building and told her that I was in a parking garage across the street from his bank. I hung up and walked back up the ramp to the van to wait. The battery was dead, so the radio was dead, and after sitting there a few minutes, I got drowsy and fell asleep.
I remember trying to force myself to wake up, to fight the urge to sleep, but I was so tired from the ordeal of the waiting to go to court, the anxiety the night before and being tensed up and the relief I felt, once it was finally over. I snoozed longer than I should have and then I woke with a start, the parking spaces next to me were empty the whole place was dark and dimly lit.
Where was Dad? I asked myself, he should have been here. Of course I had planned to go stand out in front of the building as a beacon, but…., my bad, I fell asleep in the van. This was before the existence of the cell phone. I couldn’t just call for help. When I got out of the van, the whole place seemed deserted. I ran down the ramp, the entrance way was blocked by a chain link gate that was completely closed and locked. I could see the streets outside and they were dark, practically empty and foreboding.
I turned to look for the phone. I saw it against the wall on the outside of the elevator, but the back of the elevator was outside of the chain mail grate.
Despair, Oh I felt total despair. What am I gonna do now? I walked to the elevator door that was facing the inside of the building, hoping that there might be a phone inside. It was shut down for the day. I punched the button until my finger was sore, but no luck, the door wouldn’t open.
I decided then to use the stairs, I was getting tired of walking up and down that durn ramp. Guess what? The door to the stairs was locked. After I discovered this, I turned to look for another way to escape. The concrete walls of the ramp were only about four feet high but from there up to the ceiling, it was encased in more chain link fence.
I continued my search for an escape hatch by walking back up that dreaded ramp again. After I got to the second tier, I heard a clicking noise. I looked over my shoulder and there behind me were two Doberman pincers running full tilt in my direction, their toenails beating out a rhythm on the pavement as they ran towards me.
My van was on the third level, to get to it ahead of the dogs, I had to start running up the ramp. I didn’t look left our right, I just ran. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna make it before the dogs got me or not. I approached the rear of the van first, with the dogs hot on my tail. I opened the rear door, thinking that I was gonna get inside from the back door. Just as I opened the door, the dogs were on top of me. I turned to use the door as a shield. Instead of going for me, both dogs jumped inside the van, like they were trained to do just that.
Okay, problem solved for now, because just as soon as they jumped in the van, I slammed the door, locking them inside. I had left half of my lunch uneaten in a paper bag, they quickly found it and destroyed what was left. Seeing this, I thought “oh man, that was half of a Steak in the Sack with mustard, my favorite” and I was getting hungry too. That made me mad at those durn dogs.
I took of my belt and was ready to tear into those two, but I got thinking about how hot it was in the van and they didn’t have anything to drink. I started walking around the “not quite so empty” parking lot and found a work truck that was parked inside overnight. In the back of the truck was an almost full water cooler. I pried off one of the hubcaps with a crowbar lying in the back of the truck, filled it with water and headed back to my van.
Neither one of the Dobie’s had a tail, but they were both wagging their nubs when I opened the door and gave them some water. I tried to coax them outside of the van but they seemed to like it inside, so I just left them there.
By now, it was dark, almost deserted except for me, the dogs and about a dozen huge rats. I walked the empty ramps trying to gather my thoughts. I remembered seeing a pair of bolt cutters in the back of the work truck that I got the water from. I retrieved the bolt cutters and walked back down to the entrance on the ground floor. I saw the phone up against the outside wall, even if I cut a hole in the chain link, my arm was still too short to reach the phone. It was a heavy duty commercial type chain link, it was all I could do to make a large enough hole that I could reach my arm through.
I walked back up to the van. Just as I thought, the radio antenna unscrewed easily from the outside mount. I walked back to the chain link gate and stuck my arm through the hole, this time I used the antenna to push the phone off of the hook and then I stabbed the zero for the operator until I could hear some one finally answer.
Thank God Almighty, I was saved at last or that’s what I thought. I had to call back about four times, before the operator took me serious. I couldn’t hear her very well but she could hear me. It wasn’t too long after that, a patrol car came by to check me out. At first they thought that I had broken in and couldn’t get out. They called the right people who sent a handyman by with the keys to the gate and finally let me out. Once they saw that I had a parking ticket and the van was registered to me, they let me go. It was about 11:30 that night before I got home.
Dad said he wondered where I went. Yeah sure, my step sister Sherry had given him a message, before she left for the evening. “Mike called, he’s at the bank.”
My girlfriend Maudie figured I was paying my “ex” a visit, but I think she started to believe me when I made her a present out of the two Doberman Pincers.