Friday, June 13, 2008

breakin' the law

I noticed the other day that my university parking pass had finally expired, so I threw it away. It felt okay to do that. When I first left the university, I knew I would leave the pass on my car until I felt ready to be without it. I didn't feel ready for a long time.

In the small university town where I live, most of the cars are small foreign cars - Toyotas, mostly, but Hondas and Subarus and Mazdas, as well. A good percentage of those cars sport university parking passes. I see them in parking lots at grocery stores and restaurants and the public library. A quick glance shows one the pass hanging from the rearview mirror, a closer look identifies the lot where the bearer parks. For a long time, I couldn't imagine driving around town without that identifying marker.

It's not that the university didn't want the pass back. I received an email not long after I left demanding its return, threatening to ticket me if I tried to use it in any of the campus lots. I thought about all the times I couldn't park in the lot I had a paid permit for because so many cars that didn't have passes were already parked there, and I knew I didn't have too much to worry about.

I did use it a few times in the past eleven months, actually. I have been back to visit my former co-workers occasionally - less frequently as time has passed and I have grown accustomed to being away from them. I don't have it any more, though, so I will have to be a scofflaw like dozens of others if I want to park on campus again - a risk I am willing to take.

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