Somehow, I wasn't asked to parallel park when taking that very first driving test. I'd just turned fifteen, and as easy as that, I was allowed to begin accessorizing my roll-barred ford ranger with a driver's license and my collection of dearly loved mixed tapes. That little omission was likely due to the average number of times a lifetime resident of raton will have to employ that particular skill while parking any place downtown, which I think is three.
But I turned out not to be a lifetime resident, and have since had to parallel park more times than a lucky three. I'm not all that stellar, despite two whole years of wedging between bumpers and fenders on the streets of New York. How convenient it would have been to have the help of a viene viene--it would have markedly reduced my gazillion point parks, wearing out the cars gears between drive and reverse.
Though no longer legal in a number of streets, the work of viene vienes is still happening here, with a whistle or a rag, in any busy parking area where they one get away with some work. Keeping some change in the Jetta is essential, for all the viene viene tips we eventually hand out. They'll wave our eyes to an available spot, and then help work the car into place. Yelling, whistling, and bopping a hand around the taillights often works like a driver's test charm. "Viene, viene..." or "Come on, come on," they chant monk-like from behind the car's trunk. And some just might keep the ride burglar-safe as they manage all the spaces in their domains.
Driving to the grocery store for chiles last night, I pulled up in a diagonal in the small parking lot. The viene viene, in his khaki uniform, was twittering his whistle at a car down the row. With those set parking spaces, there's really not a lot for the viene viene to do. But that doesn't stop him. He whistles and waves just the same. He's really just more like surveillance security, on his feet and his figurative toes for the all those tips he might receive. Often helping to load bags into trunks, I know that he deserves them; it's the only pay he gets on the tiring job.
His name's job comes with a bit of a break, though, when it isn't busy working as that familiar command. Viene, viene can also mean 'she's coming, she's coming,' and I'm the one who's saying it now. My wonderful friend is coming tomorrow, on a plane that someone else has to park. I'll be taking a break, too, signing off until next week. Much like I felt when I just turned fifteen, the most important thing is hanging out.