A weekend not visiting the parents

Now that I’m with car, the 3-hour drive to their respective homes almost promotes regular visits through ease alone. It’s a case now of jump in the car and go! No 5-hour train journey. No asking my father to pick me up and drop me home.

I’m independent now, baby.

But neither parent wanted me.

We were all set but then one got new antibiotics and the other had a TV being delivered.

So I found myself at a loose end.

Found myself antsy, climbing the walls.

Now that I’m with car, quenching boredom is no longer confined to ‘within walking distance’.

With winter approaching, I need to practice dark-time driving since driving in darkness is all I’ll be doing. So the thought struck me at 8pm on Friday evening — ROAD TRIP TO BRIGHTON AND BACK!

I managed to ponder this for 40 minutes before I called my mate Laura and managed to delay it out of existence.

On Saturday, the thought returned at about 4pm but 4pm was too early, and as it lingered through 5 I was helping my father set up his new TV via text. I can’t text and drive.

At 630pm, the boredom I was feeling made me walk all the way to the car. I sat in Bertie for 10 minutes both wanting to drive but not. I’d lose my parking space. I needed to get petrol. I can’t be bothered to get petrol. What happens if I have to walk in and pay? Be social? No thanks… My father called so I used this as my excuse to walk back home.

As I got in, my father rang off and I was left standing in my coat. Bored. Still bored. Got something I’ve thought to do and don’t want to. Started to go round in circles again. I thought ‘fuck it’ and walked back out the door.

I walked back to the car thinking up every excuse why I shouldn’t go. Driving to Brighton and back is a bit aimless. There’ll always be another dark night to drive through, why not wait ’til then? I need to get petrol and so be social. I… I can go on a bit.

By the time I’d reversed out of my parking spot, I was probably 75% committed to this cause. I can never be fully committed because of that little voice in my head that doesn’t want to.

Petrol, got (pay at pump).

Soon, A27 and Brighton bound!

Under streetlamps I was fine, and where there were no streetlamps I was cool when the road had been recently resurfaced. I was not so cool on the less maintained stretches of road, nor with the corners that just appeared. (I found some instances a little arsehole-clenching.)

On the way home, much more confident. And I have noticed that I can be a little brazen sometimes with this confidence. I can actually make a decision and stick to it. Quite a novel experience. Sort of like it. It just needs to be a decision well made.

The surprise corners weren’t as surprising because I was watching the tail-lights in the distance. ‘Woo, they’ve vanished — corner.” And the going was good until a roundabout snuck up on me and I had to do an emergency stop.

There was no-one around me, so that was fortunate, and I did stop before the line. I had to turn a little to make it but we got there.

Less brazen that confidence, modest now — I got myself home safe and sound.


 

With a little more practice, dark roads should be alright like. I like my idea of watching the tail-lights in the distance. If they vanish then something’s coming. A corner, maybe, or black hole.

When I don’t know what’s ahead, I should err on the side of caution. This is quite an obvious thing to learn but it’s something that needs to be drummed in. Roundabouts, for example, aren’t ninjas — they have signs that kind’a give them away.

But most importantly, I’ve learnt that Bertie can handle himself well in an emergency. Me, too, but I knew that already.


 

On Sunday, this thought to drive was satisfied so I was able to relax and quit climbing the walls.

The little voice ‘I don’t want to’ lost. It needs to lose more often.

Tomos James

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