The phone call came at almost the last minute, from my father. My brother had secured an extra ticket to the Devils game (for Good Friday; yes, I'm running behind), and would I like to come? I debated my options: on the one hand, it'd be something novel to do. On the other: it's nice having time at home alone (my mother swiftly retires to her bedroom in the evening). And yet, seeing my brother ... well, so, I gulped and said yes, I'd like to.
In the afternoon we got going; I walked towards my parents' Toyota Something while my father went to my Scion. I'd assumed we were taking their car. My father explained that he wasn't comfortable driving at night anymore, an explanation which explains nothing at all when you consider that I do know how to drive automatic. So I went back in for my car keys. Driving up to Newark wasn't the challenge; I'm pretty good at that by now. It's getting from the Parkway over to the Prudential Center where they're playing now that was the tricky part. My father was sure he knew the way, on the grounds that decades ago he knew the way to things that are near to where the center's been built. Plans to eat before the game were going overboard, but then my father also discovered how close the Center is to the train station, which would have made it convenient to drive to my brother's and his wife's place and ride in.
My brother proposed as meeting site the beer garden, near the statue of the hockey player, which was easy to spot from far away. It was less easy to park nearby, but there were dozens of Edison Fast Parks in the area and we drove in to one where I pulled my car up to the kiosk, my father hopped out, and ... nothing happened. I was really pretty sure something would happen here, as other people paid $20 and turned over their keys and the cars were tucked into the lot somewhere, but I somehow had gone about it wrong.
So I got out of the car, and this brought an attendant, who wanted to know what I wanted. I hoped to park, an explanation I hope didn't make him roll his eyes at the dumbness of my answer, but what else should I say? And here we finally got it where I gave them a $20 and they gave me a receipt and said to put the keys on my dashboard. I should have brought my valet key. (It turns out I don't know where my valet key has gone.) We walked back toward the statue, which my father never quite saw; I saw my brother and caught his eyes just as my father started phoning him to ask where he was.
Trivia: Gabrielle ``Coco'' Chanel's company, now famous for perfume, opened in 1910 as a millinery, expanding to couture in 1912. Perfume was not part of the product line until 1919. Source: Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, Dana Thomas.
Currently Reading: The Death Of A President: November 1963, William Manchester.