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October 26, 2015 / thackersam

October 25 – Drive My Car

Drive My CarIt’s no surprise to me that “Drive My Car” is one of my favorite Beatles’ songs. I like going for drives and just looking at the scenery, even it’s just the other cars on a highway. There’s always something going on, if not outside the car then on the inside of my head. I think I was born that way. I was a somewhat introverted kid. Not anti-social, just socially awkward, and was often called out, oh so disapprovingly for my awkwardness to the point of eventual self-consciousness. And also, I just liked to be alone in my thoughts. Still do. And I’m still working on that self-consciousness thing, which is coming along nicely, thank you.

I don’t know what I thought about when I was very young, but I do have some relatively vivid memories. In fact, I remember a suburban daycare or summer camp in a big old house surrounded by vast wooded grounds, in which was an old car parked in the middle of a grassy section not far from the outdoor play area. It was more than just a chassis, although I don’t think that it could have been much more as they would have wanted it safe for the kids. How old I was I can’t really recall. Very young but not too young to be allowed to wander off by myself to sit behind the wheel of the old car in the early sixties, a time when children could still run about pretty freely. As an example, when visiting my little friend on the next block from my home, we would often sit in the middle of the street on warm summer days popping tar bubbles. That was lots of fun, but jeez, where was her mother. It wasn’t a rural area, it was suburbia, with cars. Not near as many as today, and we never got run over, but that’s the kind of relaxed attitude had by some raising children in that time and that place.

Climbing into the car and putting my hands on the wheel with limited knowledge of my destination, I knew I could get there if I just kept turning the steering wheel back and forth. And though my feet didn’t reach the pedals, I was going. When the little girl sent to fetch me for show and tell one afternoon called out to me from the unpaved driveway mere feet away from the car’s grassy perch, she met with resistance and left in confusion. “I have nothing to show,” I replied to her when she let me know I was being summoned for the activity. “Then tell something,” she said. “I have nothing to tell,” I explained and kept on driving. I remember she stood there for a moment, shrugged knowing that she failed in her task, and went back inside. No one bothered me again that day.

I was nineteen when I got my driver’s license. Most of my friends had gotten theirs two or three years prior and had gone off to college. I would take my mother’s 1967 dirty white Dodge Dart, the one with one headlight that slanted upward and the other that slanted inward, probably caused by slamming into buildings too close to parking spaces, and who knows what else, and with the dented passenger side door that my then boyfriend’s best friend described as an elephant fart. Other drivers would constantly flash their brights at me thinking that the misaligned light from my car that was hitting them in the eyes was because I had my brights on. I was not as embarrassed to be driving around in the pitiful looking and sounding vehicle as one may think. It wasn’t my years of excessive drinking and lax drunk driving laws that were responsible. I kind of felt sorry for the car, it was after all the family car and like me didn’t damage itself. Plus I loved to drive and it would take me where I wanted to go. I’d go out day or night with a map, getting lost anyway, but always making my way back to my mother’s house, which was in as bad condition as the car.

The ex loves to drive more than I do, and when we hooked up, I could be the passenger, being driven and not having to concentrate on anything but my thoughts and the music on the radio. It was almost like the silent two hours I’d spend as a girl, fortunately not that often, in the car with my father as he drove me to his apartment in New Jersey, where it seemed that the divorced fathers of Long Island were relegated. He’d have the radio on to a station for the contemporary music of the time. Not rock like what would be on the ex’s radio, but I could get into it. The difference in driving with my father and driving with the ex is that the latter was better because I wanted to be there. And my father was a lousy driver who I always imaged had one foot on the gas and the other on the brakes, cause that’s what it sure felt like. The ex was a very good driver, who has improved as he mellowed. (He’ll get that last sentence)

All this was long ago and I’m very rarely even in a car these days. Besides, I’ve not been behind the wheel of a car in such a long time, and things have changed so much that I don’t think I can remember how to drive. There’s a lot to learn about the operations of a vehicle now. And it’s not just me missing crank windows, and keys. It’s way beyond that. So, it would be very beneficial to have someone to drive my car for me, even though I don’t have one.

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2 Comments

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  1. cookiemonster1973 / Oct 26 2015 2:04 am

    A great blog thank you from a new blogger

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