About a year before the pandemic started, perhaps even longer than that, I noticed a set of two vehicles about three stalls down from my car in my parkade. It was a newer model Honda Odyssey and an Infinity SUV. Both were expensive and nice vehicles. What caught my attention was that these vehicles had obviously not been driven in a while.

Both vehicles had a thick layer of dirt and dust on them. A few weeks after I noticed them, a pile of parking tickets started to accumulate on their windshields. In our parkade, we have assigned parking spots and these two vehicles were parked in each other’s spots. These vehicles were clearly from the same home and the owners were just using their assigned spots interchangeably. Nevertheless, the a-hole parking authorities kept writing parking tickets.

A few months later, the parking tickets were removed the from dirty windshields of the vehicles. They were still dirty as hell and no one had driven them yet, but at least the parking tickets were gone. By now, we were into the pandemic, and someone had started drawing smiley faces on the dirty vehicles. These cars were just filthy now. Worse yet, the tires on both vehicles had started to deflate. I could only imagine what state these engines were in after not being used for a long time now.

Every year, the parkade gets power-washed but whoever was doing that, made sure to not come near these vehicles with the water, lest they damage them. As such, piles of dirt would accumulate around the deflated tires.

The years dragged on and these vehicles just sat there, until about a month ago. One day, I was walking to my car when I noticed both vehicles had been washed and their tires had either been replaced or filled with more air. It was clear that whoever owned these vehicles had returned and took care of whatever maintenance was required.

I can only guess whoever owned these cars were overseas for a while and couldn’t drive them. Then the pandemic hit and they were most likely trapped wherever they were for an extended period of time. Only now did they return.

I really wish I could ask the owners how they managed to drive these vehicles out of the parkade. Did they put more air into the tires before driving off? What state were the engines in? How much work did they need to do to get them roadworthy again?

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