On a good day, I’ll arrive to find campus parking within a minute, but most of the time I end up parking blocks away. Yes, I too join the mile away club on occasion.
Unfortunately, as a member of the mile away club, I still walk across the jungle-like campus parking lots here at City College.
It begins with spotting the early birds. These are the cars that arrived peacefully, as early as seven in the morning. They take the spots closest to campus. They usually have someone sitting in the drivers seat when I walk by, sleeping.
Then we have the sharks. They swim around the streets surrounding the campus, looking for students who are walking to any parking lot. When they see me, they make way towards the parking lot I’m walking to as fast as they can, then follow right behind me at a mile-an-hour.
There are predators too. I’ll find these cars idling at the entrance of any parking lot, stalking students who walk by. They just sit and wait, up to a half an hour. Once I walk past them they follow me to my car as if another car isn’t already behind me.
The sneaky students will park in the staff lot.
But it’s the vultures I want to highlight. These can be found driving, literally in circles after circles, around the same lot until they suddenly dive into a space that opens. Often stealing a shark and predator’s prey. Seriously, everyone treats empty spots like prey.
Vultures are so eager to get to class that finding parking space is beyond animal instinct. They actually communicate with me.
I arrive and park. As soon as I get out of my car and walk towards campus, the vultures rush towards me, almost running me over, and ask, “Are you leaving?” That doesn’t even make sense. Since when does walking towards campus mean leaving school? Worst of all, when I’m actually leaving, up to three vultures surround my car that I can’t even leave because they’ve blocked me and they all want my spot!
I’m used to this jungle. Vultures rarely flock to the mile away club, my choice of parking. But look at the bright side, at least we’re not at Mesa College where the lot has been purposely designed for sardines.
(Benjamin Cruz is City Times’ sports editor)