Friday, November 05, 2010

Who's gonna drive you home?

I dreamed about driving last night. Driving around faceless beige industrial areas in a retro car, like an Oldsmobile or a Dart. Ended up in a freight elevator and got stuck on a platform between levels with no way out. Trying to rig up metal grating as a ramp between levels, trying to use some bogus shifting sand properties that in my dream made perfect scientific sense, even though there was no sand in sight. My dad was there, helping.

When I was a kid, my dad always did the driving. He was impatient, it was about speed and finding close to the front parking, and maybe not even getting out of the car while you ran whatever errand, just let you out and circle and wait and I'll be here, go buy the groceries. My mom could drive, was perfectly capable of driving, but when we were all in the car, he had to take the wheel. Control issues. I learned a lot of my driving habits from him, like shouting at other cars and pedestrians (usually to myself and other inhabitants of the car, NOT usually loud enough to get in a fight or get shot or even a mean look). "Where'd you learn to drive!??" "Well, THAT was an expert move, idiot." "What a fucking douche." These are all just a normal part of my driving experience, I don't even notice I'm doing it. Sometimes people get in the car with me and get weirded out by this, but it just goes with putting the key in the ignition.

Nowadays, it's a little different. He still drives, most of the time, but now we find a parking space at the back of the lot, on purpose, and take a stroll, and stretch our legs. He still has a tendency to want to be dropped off at the loading area of the airport, not have us park and see him off if he's going somewhere alone, but he always parks and takes me as far as security when I go, has some coffee or breakfast if there's time before boarding.

He still sometimes buys cars with no prior warning. I remember one time he pulled up to pick me up from girl scouts in a totally unrecognizable car, probably an Olds or a Chevy, a family wagon, brown. There was wood paneling. I didn't know it was him, he hadn't had the car that morning. As an eight year old, I didn't get to have a say in the big decisions, but I might have gotten an inkling that a major purchase was going to go down. Finally he waved me down, as I was standing there straining to see our white Toyota, and packed me into the new car.

He still drives, most of the time. I've been driving for more than half my life now (especially if you include that time I went joyriding with my friends after stuffing some sleeping bags with pillows in a lame attempt to look like we were still having a slumber party in the living room), and if we're all in the car, most of the time he takes the wheel. But sometimes, occasionally, once in awhile, he lets me drive.


  1. This is a magnificent piece of writing. Driving
    Miss Daisy Drinks Punch. What a treat to come back to this after my holiday XX

  2. Why thank you, JD! Just woke up with a train of thought and thought I'd jump on.

  3. I loved reading this and I am also super glad to know I am not the only person who thinks a constant barrage of profanity is completely normal when climbing behind the wheel. In fact, maybe this is why I am yelling inside my head during my train commute. Anyway, lovely words Selena!!

  4. You only mentioned the good stuff. I was a lot worse than that. I am afraid I will have a heart attack if I let someone else drive. I am way too nervous as a passenger.

  5. Thanks Green! I think this is why I'm muttering at people aloud during my train commute!

  6. Ha, that's one way to see if your family is reading your blog! Write about them!

    Thanks for teaching me how to drive, dad. I love you.

  7. That was quiet, thoughtful, vivid and tender. Talented lady.