In parking lots across Florida, there are those who are waiting. They are waiting for the promised check, the direct deposit, the life line that was promised amidst this horrible pandemic. They understand that this is a new thing. That it might take a little time. They are waiting. As they wait, they begin to notice that there are more people joining this open space waiting room. Weeks have passed and still they wait.
It began with one car. Days went by and I noticed that the car was there every night. When a second car showed up, I decided to approach and ask if everything was okay. The people in both cars were kind enough to talk to me. I was a stranger. On first meeting, my understanding was that one was just waiting for the stimulus and one had recently lost their job. They were both okay and hopeful. One declined any offer of help and had everything under control, they just needed that stimulus deposit and everything would be back to normal. One did ask for some cold water if possible. It is Florida, it has been getting into the 90’s and a car, even in the shade, can be very unpleasant after a short time. I took the ask.
A couple of weeks later and they are getting tired of hoping and waiting. Flashes of frustration, anger, sadness and disbelief enter the conversations. The stimulus check has still not appeared in the bank account. A bank account the federal government has used for direct deposits for years. The unemployment application is still “pending”. They both have plans waiting to execute. All they need are the checks that they have been told are coming. As the weeks have passed, more cars, trucks, and trailers have joined the back lot impromptu camping ground. They are teaching each other tricks. Park in this area. Get a cup of ice from this store so you can have cold water through the day.
I gave up my keychain pepper spray. You need to at least crack your window for some air movement when you sleep.
They still hope.
This is all new. I do not expect massive new programs or program expansions to be flawless overnight. Neither do they. What they need is the money or a way to expedite the process. Direction on what to do next. They are spending their days looking for answers on the news, on social media, during press conferences. At least one has reached out to their representatives. But the the only answer has been to wait. How long can they wait? The crack they have fallen into only seems to get deeper with every day.
(To be clear, this is not about party. I have not talked politics in the waiting room. If I had to guess from their comments, I would say one is Republican, and I have no idea about the other)
Not the new home office
Not home schooling
Not six foot taped lines
Not no contact deliveries
Not even “susceptible” and quarantined
It’s the cars in back corners of parking lots with windows blocked out by clothes and pillows