A walk in the parking lot

On their “Crime” album, Against Me! has a song called “Walking is Still Honest.” They’ve obviously never seen me in a university parking lot on a boring day.

In fall semester 2011, I had a three-hour layover between classes every Thursday. Sometime before or after feeding myself, I’d make my way out to my battle-scarred minivan to lighten my load.

I thought I noticed something in my periphery, but chalked it up to my imagination. As I continued walking, though, my paranoia grew.  A black SUV was following my every turn through the campus.

I wondered to myself which government agency had finally taken an interest in me. Should I begin to fear for my safety, or start negotiating for a good starting salary?

The car stopped about 20 feet from my parking spot. I hesitantly opened the sliding door of my van, switched my “morning” bag for my “afternoon” one, then closed the door headed back toward the Oakland Center.

What happened next both shocked and amused me. Upon noticing I wasn’t relinquishing my parking space, he shot me “the bird” and sped off,..

After the shock wore off, I felt as if mischief-god Loki had whispered into my ear. I had a brand-new superpower.

Some days I was the Pied Piper of Parking Lot 1. I would stroll around the lot, waiting for someone to follow me.

I would stand next to a stranger’s car for a few seconds, then keep walking. I’d stop randomly and act bewildered. My favorite hobby was ambling up and down the aisles, seeing how long someone would follow me before giving up.

But most of the time, I showed up early, parked in one of the lots on the “outskirts” and simply walked to class.

Apparently in an institute of higher education, this concept seems lost on so many. For the majority of able-bodied students complaining about the parking situation, I offer no sympathy.

You know when your class starts. You know how long it’s going to take to hoof it from point A to point B. Do a bit of math, set your alarm clock for a few minutes earlier and go from there.

The alternative is following someone though the parking lot who may not have your best interests in mind.