saint-louise's Diaryland Diary

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I am seven years old. In car years.

I have taken to listening to books on CD while driving. I realized that with all of the time I spend driving around from work to school to home to my daughter’s school, it would be a perfect time to indulge in some “reading” I might otherwise never get around to. Of course, considering how much time I spend in the car, I could also cut my legs off and attach a vehicle directly to my pelvis, but I haven’t quite sorted out how that would work when I have to go to the bathroom.

I’ll get back to you on that.

I’ve realized that I tend to listen to the books on CD most often when I’m driving on the freeway. I’ll even purposely switch CDs from my music to a book when I know I have some freeway driving to do in the near future. This is because when listening to my music, I will often discover that it has hypnotized me into driving nearly 100 mph, hands white-knuckled on the steering wheel, and with the wind force preparing to rip my hood right off of the car.

That reminds me. Wait. No. I’ll come back to that.

Sometimes, while driving, I’ll also find myself singing loudly, almost maniacally, even if there are no lyrics to sing along with (as is often the case with the music I listen to). I’m starting to think, from the startled looks I have gotten from drivers around me, that I must also look rather strange. Maybe my pupils have gone swirly and red. Of course, this is only from a glimpse other drivers catch of me as I roar by. Maybe they just think I’m a mach truck. On fire. Sonic boom. Driver cackling like a lunatic.

As those mach truck drivers do. Assholes.

See, I’m not that great of a driver to begin with. My sister has often told me that she knows driving conditions are bad when I put one whole hand on the wheel. They’re really bad if I use both hands.

I drive too fast. I yell at people too much. I swerve erratically to get out from behind those who are not trying to achieve liftoff like I am.

Let’s face it. I’ve faced it. Now let’s do it together:

I’m a complete assface driver.

There are only two things that I have found that will make me drive like a sane, logical human being. One is when my daughter is in the car with me. And the other is when I am listening to books on CD. Or, more specifically, when I am not listening to my music.

At one point in my life, this sort of thing – this idiotic, childish, utterly ridiculous self-centered behavior – didn’t bother me. But those were my teen and early twenties years, so that’s the way it is. I understand that everyone in that age bracket is absolutely the most interesting, important, cool person on the face of the earth. I am, however, waiting for the fabric of reality to tear wide open, create a vacuum, and cause the universe to collapse upon itself because of this widespread assumption. My only guess as to why it hasn’t happened yet is that the combined cranial vacancy of this youngish population has somehow created an uneasy balance in natural physical laws.

These are the scientific depths I plumb in my spare time. I’m also this close to proving that the voice of my aunt on my father’s side causes cancer in lab rats.

Anyway, these days I tend to be more aware of my driving etiquette. I try to keep my speed within reason. I say “cocksucking asswipe” a lot less often. And I think I’m better for it.

Or just really…really…really fucking old.

I worry about that a bit. However, I think it’s more of a perspective thing. For example, when I was younger, and I saw more mature individuals rolling their eyes and deriding my actions, I thought, “God, I’ll hate when I’m that old.” Now, from this angle, I realize that all of those people were way in the hell cooler than I could ever have imagined.

Or so I tell myself.

On top of all of this, the other day, I drove past a local high school and the marquee read, “EIGHTIES THEMED DANCE TONITE!” When the era you grew up in becomes the fodder of Halloween costumes and theme nights, you’d best get a sense of humor.

Or try to find a way to synthetically block out the reality of the aging process.

I, personally, thrive rather well on petty mockery of my fellow man.

What I was: “Give me a bottle of cheap liquor and let’s party.”
What I am: “Where the hell is the cherry in my Manhattan, Junior?“

What I was: “This is a great song! Who is it?”
What I am: “Wow. Let me guess. This is the new stuff by I Want To Be Nivek So Bad It Shows Up In My Piss Tests. Right?”

What I was: Idiotic and happy.
What I am: Older, caustic, and happy.

Oddly enough, the happy part is true.

So that’s fun.

But back to my car. Hilarious thing, my car. It doesn’t completely break down. It doesn’t really have anything that totally refuses to function. It does, however, seem to have a really good time watching me compensate for the quirks that it has developed over the years.

For example:

Problem: The visor for the driver’s seat is halfway broken, so when I pull it down and to the left to block the sun, it swings wildly as I turn corners, often hitting me in the face.

Solution: I hold the visor in place with my hand. It has become a reflex. I’ll even do it in other people’s cars now.

Problem: My trunk won’t open when I use the release lever inside the driver’s door, or with my key from the outside.

Solution: If I hit the trunk on the top, Fonzie-style, I can turn the key in the lock and get it open. Sometimes.

Problem: My driver’s side window is off track, and won’t roll up once I roll it down.

Solution: Hold the glass in place while winding up the window with the other hand, often resulting in smashing my fingers between the window and the frame.

I could go on and on like this, but I fear you’d think I was making stuff up.

You know old people: always exaggerating to get attention.

2:27 p.m. - 2003-11-19

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