Pay now

I’ve got a good parking situation. Both at home and at work, which is a rare thing for San Francisco. Usually, I can park in the building where I work at a greatly reduced fee. Sometimes, if that lot is full, I walk one very long block to park in another garage, also generously subsidized.

Paying at this lot has an unexpected pleasure. Going through the automated payment process gets you to this sentence (spoken by computerized woman’s voice: You can now pay in cash the amount…

I like this strange arrangement; a tune I can’t get out of my head. In my mind’s eye, it is unpunctuated, pure.

It reminded me of the first writing class I ever took. It was with Daphne Merkin, a writer I love and admire. There was a Japanese woman in the class who wrote these wonderfully evocative sentences, as only someone writing in a second language (with a lot of talent) could muster. I was doubly jealous, of the second language, and the sentence construction.

A colleague recently asked me if I was going to suggest a certain writing rule at my company. I said no. I like rules, but mainly so they can be beautifully broken.


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