I said, out loud, something like, “Is this not a reasonable place to park?”
He just sat there idling his car in the middle of the street, blocking traffic both ways, due to the fact that the alley was narrow.
"Quick, man! Like a jack rabbit! Back into the space before one of these hoghumpers take it from you!"
He slowly geared the hunk of junk death trap he called his car into reverse, flashing his rear tale lights that he was about to slip slide backwards into the sweet yielding yawn of the public parking spot.
"Thataboy." A car behind us or in front of us honked once in encouragement.
He reversed the car into the space, cocking at an angle just so that the open spot seemed to let out a sigh, hold it, then as he brought the car forward again, let out it again, just above a whisper. He put the car slowly into park but still let it idle. His hands just brushing the sweet supple leather of the thin steering wheel. The only thing maintained very well in this bucket of bolts.
He looked at me.
"Way to go, your first successful and perfect parallel park job, more important than your first hand job, your first wife, or your first week long bender."
He looked back ahead, and turned the car off, and sighed himself.
"You want a drag off this joint? First time is a time for a smoke."
"Lenny, Jesus fuck," he said, "it’s the middle of the day in a public street."
"Nobodies ain’t going to mess with us, man. It’s a beautiful day, first warm and sunny day after a long winter. Trees are in bloom, birds are doing their thing up on those bees, the Spirit of the the Culture is alive."
He signed and reached for the joint, plucking it out of my hands and slowly pulling it towards himself and taking a good long drag.
"That’s the ticket, man. Now grab them racquettes and them birdies. Time to get the Goodminton court set up before everybody else arrives."