I drive a manual car; a stick shift. This is a need. Whenever I drive an automatic, I feel superfluous; more like a passenger than a driver. Driving, my friend, Wes' car with its fancy power steering, cruise control and automatic transmission - requiring the use of a big toe and a single finger to operate - I feel lazy, as if I should be embroidering cushions or stuffing envelopes in my spare time.
I admit it. I am directionally-challenged and it's embarrassing. When someone starts giving me directions somewhere, I can only remember the first one or two instructions. After that, I need a picture. Better yet, a chauffeur. MapQuest doesn’t cut it because then I have to take my eyes off the road. And trust me, nobody wants that.
It is no secret that I am a little lax when it comes to cleaning up. This includes the car. I mean, to carry all that stuff back in at the end of the day just seems like a bit much to me. And that Second cup bag...it's empty after all. And those nearly empty water bottles? And that couple pair of shoes? Plus you never know when a sleeping bag and tent in the trunk will come in handy. Not to mention that bag of bird seed back there. What if I am trapped in the woods and being threatened by rabid robins? That stuff could save my life.
I can only process small amounts of navigational information at a time. Please do not tell me the exit number I need, the street name I need, the miles I will spend on that street and the street I will need after that street. After that much information, all I know is that I need cake.
I am an excellent knee driver. I can hold my venti vanilla nonfat wet cappuccino in my left hand, dial my therapist's office with my right, and still safely navigate the streets of Tulsa with one knee. It's amazing to see. I have mad superhero-like knee driving skillz. For reals. What? Why are you looking at me like that?
Turning left on yellow and half or full blown red. DUDE, wait a couple minutes for the thumping green arrow or the beginning of a yellow. Wherever you are going will still be there in two and a half minutes. Your fellow motorists will also not swear under their breath at you and send you noxious bubble gut juju's.
I don't like to take an unprotected left in traffic. It makes me feel completely panicked. I will go around the block and out of my way to enjoy the calm, predictable experience of a Left Turn Arrow or a 4-way stop.
I listened to Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma while driving to work today. I played it ear-shatteringly loud. In fact, commuters traveling three cars behind me could probably hear Pavarotti's undulating voice building to a momentous crest before breaking across the highway in velvet waves. I let those words gather on the skin. I let them sink into my bones. They filled me. I was the love Pavarotti sang about. I exalted. It took every shred of self-control I had to not skid across the highway, crash into a ditch, turn on my computer, and start typing a sonnet...
What I thought — and this went on for several years — was a brain haemorrhage, was a trapped nerve in my neck, cured coincidentally by the combined bad driving of my sister and a little old lady on a hara-kiri mission.
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