He parked his car on Constance St. Same as always. It was the street that no one remembered when it came to the great battle of finding a parking space. He often wondered why everyone forgot Constance. Maybe she was a little too narrow, her sign not as well defined as the others. Either way, it wasn’t something that took his thoughts often. All he cared was that no one else bothered to park in a street that was so close to the university.

He left his car at nine fifty-five in the morning, slamming the door shut and running through the unusually heavy rain. He couldn’t recall the last time he had run through the rain on Constance St. Perhaps he never had. Perhaps this was the very first time he and the street and the rain had encountered each other all at once.
His clumbsy, heavy footsteps dashed their slight marks across the road as he picked up his pace.
As he ran, he remembered a science show he had once watched saying that running through the rain would make you more wet than if you walked through it. How odd. Yet, it would not stop him running, not today. Time was pressing in on him on this one day and the rain gave it an added sense of urgency, whether or not he would arrive wet was irrelevant.

At times in his life, this walk from Constance St to his destination had been a significant one. Significant and perhaps a little special, as it was only ever significant to him. Never a shared significance.
His favourite time was one and a half years ago. Sunshine. Nine thirty three in the morning. A woman was walking her little dog down Constance. He had observed them trotting towards him and wondered if they were residents of the street, and if they loved how oddly quiet the street was too. He wondered this as they steadily travelled closer and then, without even a glance, steadily travelled away. In his mind he constructed a conversation with them. Something along the lines of:
‘Beautiful day isn’t it?
‘Yes, it is’
‘Your dog looks very happy’
‘Oh Roger is always happy, bless his soul’
Then he would bend down and touch Roger on the nose, which Roger would respond to with a short lick of his finger.
‘He likes you’
‘I love dogs’
And then she would smile and wish him good day and walk off. He would walk his own way, as he did in reality, with a skip in his step. Constance St. His little piece of parking magic.
He hoped no one else from the university would ever park there, and that it would only be his street. His secret parking street always.

Constance Street abruptly ended at the main road, with a short sharp clash and bang of traffic. A rush of vehicles. Trucks, vans, buses. Every single kind, making every single noise. Today, with the rain, this noise was heightened to the point that he could hardly bear. He pressed the button that makes the lights change and commands the noise to stop and waited. He wished, in this instance, that he could just race across the road and know, just know, that he would dodge every car and not get hit and die. It was almost ten in the morning and that was bad. Really bad.

What would they think? What would they say? What would they do? What were they doing right now as the second hand ticked ticked ticked closer to the end? He wished so much that the light would change for him. He had forgotten Constance now. His morning parking bliss was over and he looked ahead of him to where he wanted to be. Or maybe it was just where he had to be. He had to be there this very second.

The next three choices he made were mainly in aid of this objective. Mainly in aid. The first was to press the button three more times in hopes that it would change quicker. It did not. The second was to say out loud to the road and the traffic lights and to God,
‘Hurry up!’
God listened and made the lights change.
The third choice he made was to not cross the road.
Instead he watched the green man appear and disappear as his watch, with all the gadgets he liked, ticked over to ten in the morning and one minute.
Constance St waited behind him, the university infront of him. Both of them asking what next?
His answer: Nothing.
Nothing is next. You shall stay parked on Constance Street for the rest of your life, he thought.
It was a nice thought.
All ten seconds of it.
Then it was the end of his life.


Tim Marshall

Joined April 2007

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