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I Found My Estranged Father But I Still Can’t Fucking Find A Parking Spot Downtown

After years of searching, I finally located my estranged father, Carl. I may have found my long-lost dad, but you know what I CANNOT FIND? A single fucking parking spot in downtown Iowa City.

I never knew my father.

As a young woman, my mother worked behind the counter of the Arby’s inside the World’s Largest Truckstop on I-80. It’s your classic, southeastern Iowa love story: woman unwraps pre-packaged factory meats, man approaches counter asking for a loaded Italian smokehouse brisket, pheromones expel and the next thing you know, little ol’ me is being conceived inside the handicap stall of the staff bathroom.

“I remember very little about your father,” my mother would always explain to me. “I mean, it was 1992! I was hot, he was hot, the Angus beef was hot. We got caught up in the moment. The World’s Largest Truckstop is the Paris of Walcott, IA, you know.”

Without a name to Google, finding my estranged father seemed impossible.

BUT APPARENTLY NOT AS IMPOSSIBLE AS FINDING A FUCKING PARKING SPOT AT 2 P.M. ON A THURSDAY IN OCTOBER ON IOWA AVENUE.

I’ve circled the block at least nine times and there is truly? NOT ONE, SINGLE, OPEN SPOT to park my 2004 Prius. Why are there literally 17 spots TOTAL for approximately ONE BILLION CARS THAT FREQUENT THIS AREA EVERY AFTERNOON?!

As I wait for the green light on Clinton Street, my peripheral vision sharp as an eagle’s, ready to parallel park into any section of available asphalt, I reminisce about the process of finding my estranged father.

It took three years.

I started when I was 17 years old. Frustrated that I was essentially fatherless, I made it my mission to connect with the man who helped bring me into this world. Finally, this past August I received a Facebook message request from a man named Carl. I had found my father.

And honestly? The grueling, emotional, time consuming process of tracking down this human being was NOTHING compared to finding parking downtown.

Am I going to have to go to a PARKING RAMP and WALK half a mile to my lecture? What the FUCK is the deal with the fake-out “open” spots that have those little orange bags over the parking meter? Is it legal to just leave a vehicle in the middle of the road?

“Why, God? Why?” I sigh out the window of my Prius. Maybe one day I’ll find parking downtown. Until then, I can always find a spot when I visit Carl, my father. He lives in jail!

Listen to Talk of Shame, a podcast about being young & dumb. Hosted by 2 drunk girls from The Black Sheep corporate, Mackenzie Harding & Andrea Jablonski. One can’t find her tampon, the other one’s laundry is probably on fire.

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