Monday, August 15, 2005

Chance Neighbors

There is little movement within the groups of eight here, three over there, and twelve at the end of the row. This scattered, semi-random pattern allows privacy and belonging at the same time.

There is no loud music booming from the cars. It is as quiet as the soft ocher glow bathing the young men in the parking lot.

Friday night is not date night, which belongs to Saturday, meaning no girls, no posturing--only an opportunity to be a guy hanging with the guys.

The need to bond is no different in the 21st Century than in any other era. The parking lots of today are the drive-ins of yesteryear, and the parks of the olden days. As the price of gasoline goes up the cruising goes down, and what better place to exchange news, gossip, hopes and dreams is there in this mobile society of ours?

It is obvious that these "gangs," as some people would see them as they pass down the street, are not looking for trouble. Only a slight shift of acknowledgement occurs as two local enforcement vehicles rocket into the parking lot; the drivers anxious for their coffee break at the popular chain that takes your bucks.

Then it is back to the conversations that were taking place before the interruption.

Saturday night the lot is empty. --Margo Viers

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