|Camus' Last Moments Were Spent in Motor Vehicle.
||[Jul. 22nd, 2003|04:33 pm]
The first day on the road.
We had been staring at useless diagrams, instructor yabbling, and our own body hair. Finally, it was the time to drive.
Our first day, our first drive, and our first tests . . . we approached with the irrational exuberance and intimidated teen angst that all those at such age do.
I was the last driver on the list of 4. My house was closest to the instructor's home. I blew a sigh of relief.
That is, until the 2nd driver. We drove down a 4 lane highway in a maroon Ford Taurus with two sets of brakes, just past rush hour.
At an intersection, a long line of left-turners blocked the view of the cars from the other side of the street. On the right, a McDonald's beckoned all to eat the plastic meat.
Our 2nd driver, whose name was Smith, not Robert, not Agent, but your average Smith, drove down the road to this intersection, following the speed limit, happy to be doing well.
At the right moment, an elderly couple in a mid-size silver sedan pedaddled from the other side of the street, through the blind wall of left-turners, heading toward the House of Grimace.
2nd Driver Smith, the occupants of the training Ford Taurus, the elders, and their silver-sized sedan became one.
2nd Driver Smith tried the best he could. He slammed on the brakes, as did the instructor. The elders never saw it coming, they were focused on the meat like a cat on sight of a mouse.
Luckily, the speed limit was 35 mph. On a larger highway, things could have been ugly.
Usually, the impact of cars on the sides tends to crumple metal and fiberglass something fierce. In this case, the silver sedan looked to have the worst of the damage.
Unfortunately, our car was still driveable.
Everyone took the fender bender okay, including the senior citizens, except for me. Strange thoughts of mangled everything kept flashing through my head, and I dreaded my turn as a result.
Sure enough, I went last, with the instructor.
I drove 10 mph below the speed limit in 30 mph zones.
I couldn't stay in the lane. Bright lights zittered toward me, and I jittered the wheel, ever so slightly, every time. The 10 minutes of driving seemed to last forever in agonizing glory.
Finally, I recognized my home street. Thankfully, I could leave this maroon coffin and return to the safety of my bed.
I sped up a lil' bit down the street. Finally, I made a normal turn, into my driveway.
Then, I forgot where the brake was.
I hit the gas instead. The instructor, noticeably tired from the point of the collision and my wonderful driving skills, snapped to attention like a pit viper. Reflex reaction, she slammed on her set of brakes, bringing the Maroon Cocoon to a dead halt 4 inches from its veered trajectory, which would have been the front porch.
I had jerked the wheel at some point in the mistake. Also, my instructor notified me that I still had my foot planted on the gas pedal in shock. Finally, I could hear the engine and the tires, and I let go of the pedal.
Slowly, avoiding eye contact, I collected my book bag, and I slurked into the house.
Somehow, I passed driver's education.