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Dear Chevy Silverado Nextdoor

by Alexa Colvin

Dear Chevy Silverado Nextdoor, 

          I don’t normally express my frustration towards the things that other people do, out of consideration for why they might be doing whatever annoying thing that they are. Maybe you aren’t trying to be some obnoxious, inconsiderate jerk at some ungodly hour in the morning whenever you pull your truck in and park it so that the tail extends just a bit over into my driveway. Maybe some unforeseen force has possessed you so, and under the control of this amorphous spirit you have been robbed of the finer aspects of human decency. Or maybe you’ve had a super long night, doing whatever it is that you do, and you don’t put much thought at all into how you’re inconveniencing me. But. You’re inconveniencing me and I’ve had just about enough of it. 

          I’m your nextdoor neighbor. I drive the dirty Rogue, the one that makes that funny clicking noise whenever I have to start it up. I don’t have the funds necessary to diagnose whatever that is, by the way. I’m sorry if it disturbs you in the morning, though. Seriously. I think about annoying you and everyone else in the neighborhood every morning when I turn that key, because I have developed this thing called empathy over my many years of having to participate in the human experience. Or maybe it’s less complicated than even that; I might just possess basic consideration, the sort that we learn when we’re young and being gently guided through acknowledging other people as human beings with thoughts, feelings, obligations, etc. For example, I’ve stifled my ire and bit my tongue for the past three months that I’ve lived on Circle Drive because you were here first. Because you could have a million things going on that I don’t know about.

          Your garage could be stuffed floor to ceiling with totes full of  Squishmallow plushes that your wife insists that she’ll sell someday. You could have a lot of anxiety about pulling a little further forward, out of consideration of your hypothetical son who’s still learning to drive and has a bad habit of bumping into the mailbox, or the trash can, or our other neighbor’s van. You could have had a malfunction with your garage doors, so the space has been reduced to some dark, hot, stale room that mocks you every day by remaining inaccessible. There is a myriad of reasons as to why you might park on the street, and I understand that. I respect that. I respect you and your property, I respect all of your unknown circumstances, and I have exercised the utmost patience in regards to them. I didn’t want to leave a letter on your windshield because I don’t want to give you something else to rub your temples about during your day, which could already be bogged down with other matters that deserve more attention than some fussy commuter next door. 

          However, I realized, that during my idle agonizing over this during my morning drive, that you haven’t extended the same consideration towards me. You haven’t rubbed two thoughts together about how I feel, about what I might be going through. You don’t know if I work at a coal mine or if my day consists of me taking carefully framed selfies in front of murals downtown. You don’t know if I have a teething tot that might be screaming in the backseat, you don’t know if I have Squishmallows that I keep telling myself that I’ll sell that haunt the peripheral of my consciousness. You don’t know anything about me; you probably haven’t even thought about how the tail of your truck vexes me every single morning that I have to leave for school. Whenever I suffer through navigating my car at the right angle to avoid collision, you probably are be sleeping soundly in your bed. Or watching Ice Road Truckers in the comfort of a recliner. Normally, doing literally any number of things beside pulling your truck a few more inches forward.

          You just lazily slot your Silverado into place as an obstacle for my day and exercise no reflection or internalization over what I might be going through. And if I hit your truck exiting my driveway, I bet you would blame me. Knowing myself, I would feel inclined to apologize, too, in this hypothetical scenario. That, Chevy Silverado, is what I want to prevent. I don’t want to apologize to you because you’ve made my mornings so much more anxiety inducing than they need to be. I don’t want to hit your stupid car and exchange insurance information. I don’t want either of us to have to go through that. I’m taking the bullet and leaving a passive aggressive letter tucked under your windshield wiper because someone has to. If not for the sake of myself or you or our respective vehicles, then for the sake of people like me and people like you all around Texas. 

          I used to live downtown, Chevy Silverado. I used to live off Camp Bowie and there was a yoga studio across the street from my apartment. An apartment that I shared with an old boyfriend. We were allotted one parking spot, which would have been fine and well. Sure, we both owned cars, but there was street parking available, right? Blissful ignorance had me believing that I would be able to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, women donned in athleisure had other plans. They, like you Chevy, elected to prioritize their own needs. They felt entitled, even, to the stretch of street that lay in front of my apartment on Tuesday and Friday mornings. I would have to trek, Chevy. I would have to park a street over, inconveniencing some other person who undoubtedly found my presences as annoying as I found those yogites, to park my own car. And that sucked, Chevy. It sucked and I hated it and I wanted, more than anything, to tell those Lululemon rocking girl-bosses to move, because I had groceries and I was very tired. But, I didn’t. They scared me more than you do. So, I’m telling you, and every other Texas parker who decides that they have the right to roll their two-ton hunk of metal, smattered with peeling decals, into a spot that they shouldn’t be afforded that I think we’re all sick of it. 

          Why can’t we all exercise a little more consideration for our neighbors? I know you hate it, too. And I know that sometimes we don’t have the option. There are occasions where we’ve been dragged to a baby shower, and we must occupy the better part of the street through no fault of our own, but Chevy. Chevy Silverado, I think that you can park a little further forward. I think that we all can park a little farther forward. And I think that we should, for the sake of both our sanity and our respective vehicles. 

          Sincerely, 

          The dirty Nissan Rogue Next Door

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