I suffer from “Gray Automobile Confusion Syndrome,” or GACS. There, I said it. My long-suffering wife and I own two gray automobiles; actually, just one is gray, the other is what they euphemistically call “silver.” It’s gray.
My problem is that I return to my car left in a parking lot and ultimately discover it is not my car. It belongs to someone else. It looks like my car. It is not. So I stand there pushing the little “unlock” button on my car thingy and nothing happens. The parking lights don’t flash, there is no sound of doors unlocking. Nothing.
Then it dawns on me. It’s the wrong gray car in a monochromatic parking lot filled with other gray cars like mine. I look for something inside that would clue me in to the fact that it is, actually, my car. Workout gloves, book I’m reading, an item of clothing distinctively mine.
Another person approaches. A woman. She is getting closer. The parking lights flash, the door unlocks, I edge away. Successfully offer up a confused, pathetic, brainless look. A weak smile. She does not smile back. I turn and begin wandering through the parking lot, pushing the little “unlock” button on my car thingy. My gray cars says, “I’m over here. Stupid.”
I slink up to the gray car and get in, slouching behind the wheel, pressing the ignition button. I wait until the woman gets in her car and leaves. I wait a long time after she has gone. She thinks I’m a creep, a stalker; worse, a dweeb. She’s right.
I drive home in my gray car.