I leave change in people's expired parking meters throughout LA. A simple gesture which is repeated 36 times. Sometimes I leave a quarter, other times a few nickels, whatever I have. The amount can be merely a few minutes to a few hours depending on the cost meter. (The cost fluctuates in different parts of the city. In West Adams a quarter will equal an hour, but in Westwood only eight minutes.)The goal is to give someone extra time so that they won't get a ticket by parking enforcement. Parking meters are a major problem in Los Angeles. Many meters are broken or take people's money without giving them time. Due to the potential revenue from parking,
Los Angeles city bureau spends a great effort to keep parking enforcer's circulating constantly. Parking enforcers give tickets for expired meters, parking during street cleaning, and forgetting to turn one's tires. Tickets can vary from 35-60 dollars for basic parking validations alone. In fact it is actually illegal to put money in someone else's meter if they are out of time.
The amount of change adds up to 24 hours, one day, which I have given away.
What is the importance of a gesture? Is to do something kind? Is there a hope that it will be repaid in some manner(karma)? I am giving away money, yet in return I am taking the recipients' (car) photo. Does that make it an exchange? Can I be repaid? Though I don't expect someone to pay me back, I wonder how could one return the favor worthy of three minutes, fifteen minutes, or an hour? When life is so short what is the value of a few minutes?