Dangling Signs

Watching for all signs of life on these gray wintry days.

Driving into my building's dark and ominous parking deck, my muscles immediately clinch up. I feel tightness in my jaw as I flick my headlights on and grip the wheel securely, headed for the first close and often perilous turn. Today as I made it to the top of first narrow ramp dividing the levels, I encountered a handwritten sign hanging from one of the many sprinkler pipes running overhead. On it was just one word: Will.

Shaking my head, I thought "well, it has come to that...people are labeling their parking spaces now." Placing my hands back at 10 and 2, I returned my focus to the task of climbing up to my level of the deck. As I reached the top of the next ramp, I felt that halfway there feeling of accomplishment sinking in. Looking ahead, I saw another hand written sign dangling. This one matched the other sign's style and again held just one word: You.

Well, how wonderful! Maybe one of my many neighbors was sending a message to all of the careless drivers who speed through the deck or the people who put their greasy, cheesy pizza boxes and overstuffed trash bags inside the recycling bins. Smiling, I drove forward eager to see what word this clever soul had placed next. For the first time in my year of living in this building, I felt the buzz of positive anticipation instead of dread as I rounded the tight turn up to the next level. Looking up in surprise I saw a ladder and two men working to hang the next word: Marry.

And in the imaginary privacy of my own car, I burst into laughter. Letting go, I laughed at myself and at my guesses until there were tears flowing down my cheeks. By the time my car passed under the sign that contained the word 'me,' I felt a smile stretching across my face. What a wonderful reminder that perception and expectations color every experience. A humbling and heartwarming welcome home. A rare personal view of two neighbors in a building where speaking to one another is an aberration.

I hope the answer is yes.

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