She drove the Mustang with weathered yellow paint, windows gummy with yellow nicotine residue, into the Sav-On parking lot near LAX. She was probably there to pick up a prescription; she rarely left the house for any other reason. Her little daughter sat in the passenger seat. She was all of about seven years old, maybe eight.
The spaces in the parking lot were painted with yellow diagonal lines, and the woman drove down the narrow aisle in the wrong direction, unable to park. Realizing that she was going the wrong way, she waved her hand and with conviction in her voice she said, “They repainted the lines in this parking lot. Last week this row went the other direction.”
Her little girl looked out of the window, down at the asphalt, and peered at the lines as the car moved along the aisle. The yellow paint was cracked and faded. The child knew right away that row of parking spaces was angled in the same direction that it had been the week before. She looked over to the next aisle to see whether it was freshly painted, knowing that it was not, but perhaps still hopeful.
The little girl saw an entire parking lot with row after row of cracked and faded yellow lines. She knew right then and there that the thing that would matter would be the direction that she would drive, when she could drive. Meanwhile, she remained silent as the car moved along, against the direction of the lines.