{ Thursday, November 14, 2002 }

Attempting to Drive.

This afternoon I had a list of tasks to accomplish. And Emma was saying that she didn't have enough gas to go and get her paycheck... So, I borrowed her car for a couple hours and put gas in it. Everyone wins. She gets gas, I get to accomplish my errands.

I could never drive again and die a happy woman.

I turn the car on, I note that she wasn't kidding when she said there was no gas in her car. I head for the gas station that is generally down hill from home. Cars are scary. Cars are big and scary. And fast. I managed to get to the gas station, trembling all the way. I realise as I am leaving the gas station that with traffic, this is faster by bicycle. That's sad.

I put gas in the car and I tell myself I am being ridiculous. I can certainly drive downtown and get my errands run.

I haven't even borrowed a car since the middle of September. I used to go that long in college without driving. I remember being scared then too.

So, I get downtown. No parking. All the lots are monthly. There is no way I am parallel parking on these busy streets. I don't think I could parallel park on my not so busy street. That's a skill I never really had and only pretended to have in Jerry. Jerry is a miniature car, you know.

I find a pull in spot, I walk three blocks back. I accomplish what I set out to do.

I managed to drive home on Insanity Street. I live on the far end of campus from downtown. I start feeling bold enough to drive and smoke. I realize there are no lighters in the car. At each red light I start harassing people in neighboring cars and pedestrians for a light. Finally, a nice boy who is smoking tosses a lighter into the car. I manage to get my cigarette lit and give the lighter back before the light changes.

I got home. I did it. I drove all the way downtown and back. That's less than 10 miles of driving. And nothing terrible happened. I didn't wreck. I didn't get pulled over. I didn't get lost. None of those things came close to happening.

However, I am still shaking and I never want to drive again. I never wanted to learn to drive in the first place really. Mom kinda made me. I don't mind driving on the interstate. But in town? I'm sticking to the bike. It's not that much slower once you account for traffic and it doesn't make me shake with fear.

posted by mary ann 1:23 PM