I had knee surgery three months ago. During my course of therapy the doctor signed a form allowing me to have a temporary disabled parking permit, a plastic hanger that hooks on the rear-view mirror. Since then, I've had a glimpse at how the other half lives, the life of knowing I can go anywhere I want, knowing that parking will be there.
I recovered from the knee surgery quickly, so I didn't need the parking permit anymore. But instead of throwing it away, I kept using it. To resolve my guilt about using a disabled parking space I didn't need, I followed a code.
I never took the last disabled parking space, and in fact, almost every time, every disabled space was empty. When I returned to my vehicle, there were always multiple disabled spaces available. If I had denied someone a disabled parking space, multiple people would have had to arrive and leave while I had parked, so the odds that I inconvenienced a single driver are practically zero.
It still nagged at my karma, though. A couple of times when I thought people were looking at me as I got out of my vehicle, I would exit slowly and deliberately, so people wouldn't see me bounce out of my vehicle onto the best parking space on the lot.
Which brings me to my discovery about disabled parking spaces: With the exception of the unbridled joy of parking right in front of IKEA, disabled parking spaces suck. To use them, you have to back into traffic or into the space where pedestrians walk. Even right after the surgery when I needed the parking space, I wouldn't use it for I couldn't escape the parking lot safely.
My knee still hurts, and I still qualify for a disabled permit, but I'm not renewing it. I give disabled parking privilege back to society. Now it's time to heal my karma.
As always, tell me what you think.