Monday, March 3, 2014

Inch by Inch

As Marash Girl approached her automobile late that wintery night, she sighed; there she was, wedged in by two brand new autos . . . one inch to spare at each end.  An initial panic set in, calmed by the memory of her father's assurances.

"If the space in which you're trying to park your car is only one inch longer than your car, you can make it."

"Well," Marash Girl muttered to herself, "if I can make it in with only one inch to spare, I should be able to make it out, right, Dad?"

Gamatz, gamatz; little by little; inch by inch . . . Marash Girl tried to extricate her automobile  one  inch to spare on each end, roadways and walkways covered with snow and ice, 20 degrees F with a wind, at 10 o'clock at night . . . back and forth, back and forth, back and forth . . . and she was out!


  1. this reminds me of my own 'parking' story. in 1992 we were living in La Jolla, California. I was driving a white Jaguar xj6, the last of the perfect designs that Jaguar issued before the abominable acquisition by Ford destroyed the elegance of the design. the interior was a medium blue. at that time we were a family of five. three young children, ensconced in the back seat, mother and father in the front seat, and off we went to an adventure of driving due east @50 miles to a city famous for its apple orchards and restaurants and bakeries and all the wonders fit to the appetite of a tourist paladin. given the popularity of the destination, and it being on a Saturday late morning, there was no parking space to be had, outside of those beckoning in the surrounding orchards, several miles away. Wait, there was, in fact, one space remaining. it was idyllic. it was smack in front of a store wide picture window of a bakery, complete with bakers caked in white flour and puffy white hats which threatened implosion and worse as they sat upon heads of bodies that worked their merry way from one pie crust to another. we had passed that space several times and ignored it because each time we passed there was another car seeking to occupy the choice real estate. each pass was met by one car exiting from their failure, and another, making the valiant attempt boldly willing to attempt to enter where none other had apparently been before. after the fourth circumvention of all the available parking spaces and finding no room at the inn, we passed, once again the very same space in front of the bakery with a picture window, a wide angle view of the wonders of apple pies and spice and everything nice. the children, by now, were ready to do more than wander around large eyed. the three strained audibly at the gossamer of the jaguar's ambulation and denial of what their eyes had to offer their tummies. now was my chance. the space was empty and devoid of any presumptive heir to the baker's throne. But, dad, the space is too small, they all said, like a chorus from a greek comedy, or a play waiting for a rewrite from shakespeare. undaunted, and flexing my eye-hand coordination perfected from years of little league baseball, i swung into action. i sidled up to the car at the front of the space, turned my body around to dead eye the target, gently pushed on the accelerator, and like the outfielder i was, threw the game winning pitch to home plate to snag the runner, win the game, and nonchalantly trot in from the fields of pluto to the cries of adulation. uhh, back to the parking space, and there i was with another deft move, and voila, i made it, with my upper class white British model, that oozed superiority and aristocracy, yet unaware of the historical and cultural moment of triumph, until i emerged from the driver's seat, with family in tow, to be met by a standing ovation by all the bakers, caps and all, lined up in a line of six, applauding the one car to make it into a space that had been empty for the entire morning, because of there being only a breath of air that separated front and back for any car attempting to dock.

  2. Let me say this slowly: Gamatz, gamatz pambaguh gellah manadz. կամաց կամաց բամբակը կըլլայ մանած.

    1. And a translation for those among us who cannot understand Armenian:
      Little by little (slowly, slowly) cotton becomes thread!

    2. but only by spinning a yarn.

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