This time next week I’ll either be a bona fide driver, with my green provisional being whisked off to the DVLA to be resprayed pink, or I’ll have failed on something stupid and looking to rebook my test.
One or the other.
It would make my life easier if I passed first time — well, fourth time but first this time around — but I don’t always do things easily so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I failed, and failed on something stupid. Like ridiculously stupid. Like OH MY FUCKING GOD, TOMOS!
With this in mind, I’ve told Reg, my driving instructor, to sit in the back so in the event of failure I haven’t got to remember the niggly details ’cause he’s there, that’s his job. In the event of success, he’s my first backseat passenger, isn’t he lucky to get a 40 minute jolly around town and then rid of me?
Win-win, pretty much, either way.
I’m striving for the best whilst preparing for the worst, and in my book that’s positive thinking.
To fail is to experience no change, none whatsoever.
To pass is to experience much change, so much change that it’s a little overwhelming. From getting a car to insurance, and all that jazz, to being able to go places and do things without need of taxis, trains, and excessive use of my feet. Journeys to see Kayte would lose 3 hours and would gain a seat — no more spending an hour in Exeter waiting for my overcrowded connection. Journeys to see my cousin in London would be quicker and more convenient since no-one would have to pick me up from New Eltham. Local journeys, like to see Shaun and Myles, would no longer take an hour of travel. I wouldn’t need to rope Shaun into taking me to the local tip (which I need to do again) because I could go all on my own. The damn hideous 6ft x 3ft (ish) Great Wall of China tapestry that my Gran had, which my mother wants, that’s been in my damn bedroom for a year, can be finally gone! It’s so ugly. Even the back wooden bit offends me. Although, this asssumes I get a big enough car. No, even if I have to break the frame apart and roll it up, it’s going. First journey to her. Done.
So many benefits, and many more unlisted.
But to pass is to be on my own. There’s so much going on at any given moment, and there are so many idiots on the road (I’m likely to be one of them), and I just don’t find the way the roads are laid-out and signposted as any benefit to the driver. It’s like the Highways people want to set the driver up to fail by hiding a 30 sign amongst a scrapbook collage of other signage.
Most of all, to pass means to be in a thing that can kill. My cousin didn’t die in one for me not to notice. It’s a strange day if the M27 hasn’t seen some fatal incident, so too for the M5, M3 — deaths on the road are forever on the news.
And it’s that last point, coupled with my 33 years on foot, which kind’a makes me wish that I’d never set this ball in motion. The fact that I could die or kill kind’a makes me think by not learning to drive I would make my life much safer and easier.
But what then of all I’ve been through? My gran then cousin’s death, that bullying manager at the funeral home I worked, my breakdown, the darkness — Portsmouth Water and their kindness — vertigo migraines, anger, stress. Was all that for nothing? Are my grand plans to live a freer life, for which item #1 is ‘learn to drive’, just that? Plans? Ideas? A few pretty propositions to while away a lousy life?
I tell myself, yes I could die. I could get buried part me part car ’cause I’d got myself that mangled up with the wreck. I could also choke on the next cock I inhale or get clunked on the head by piss-ice fallen off flight #19 from Boston. Getting dressed is quite deadly. Personal hygiene can be a killer, too — a little slip here, a faucet fractured face. There’s so much death about and with all honesty, it’s rarely a good excuse to not do something. Besides, no-one works in a funeral home without some interest in death so I’m bound to be a little more focused on it. And it could be thought, this sense of fragile mortality is good because life isn’t forever and I’ve barely started to live it, and I want to live it. Makes me safer. I suppose, this is like how I prepare for a flight. Before it I watch Aircrash Investigation so I’m aware I could die and then I enjoy my every single minute. Of course, on a plane there’s someone to blame if it flies into a mountain, and in a car I’ve only myself to blame if I drive into one. Now that’s what they call responsibility.
Like a horse used to the hoof, I’m used to my feet —
donning wheels ain’t natural
This week has been shot dead in the water due to vertigo migraines. I believe that the stress that’s given me this is this prospect of driving, not of my test, but of driving, of receiving that pass. It leaves that menthol hollowness in my chest. I think it’s nerves. It’s minty-fresh and unsettling.
There is a very good chance that I could pass and change my life, and that’s the most daunting thing of it all.
To think, this time next week I could be a bona fide driver!
Kind’a makes me want to shit myself, if I’m honest.
Just not at 10:14 next Thursday. I don’t think the examiner and Reg would appreciate it.