Putting on the passenger brakes.

driving For many miles now, I’ve been walking from one place to another with a great shame that eats away at the metal of my pedal. Yes, I must confess : I don’t have my driver’s licenses.

At my age, It runs my battery down to see that a smart girl like me has to beg for lifts to get where the subway doesn’t. It’s humiliating indeed. But it seems that my humiliation has never been stronger than the terror of getting myself on the left side of the fuzzy dice.

I’m scared. A fear that clogs my engine and keeps me stalled on the side of the road for no good reason. I’d like to say that it’s because I saw the head of a cousin explode on the dashboard of the blue Chrysler of my childhood, but I would be lying. No. No trauma, no nothing. Just a foolish and unexplained fear.

I watched my life pass by as a passenger, forehead against the window, the pylons making my subservient eyes ping pong endlessly. I remained in neutral, unable to grasp the stick shift of my fate and kick in high gear. It’s as if I expected that some kind of father would yell at me : Come on, get in! I’ll show you how it works!”. Or a mother would shout : “Let’s go, we’re getting your learner’s permit, I’m sick of lugging you!”. But that never came because, because, because the wonderful wizard of was.

So, like a paraplegic of the reasoning, I remained parked in the paved driveway of my existence, still waiting for something or someone to make me start my engine. Well,la-di-dah, champ! Here’s a button to pin on your retarded racing hat!

What do I fear? Losing control ? Dying ? Killing? All that stuff, and looking like a fool. I drown my carburetor with stress. What if I ride like an old lady with hazards on from here to eternity? I have so little sense of direction that I get lost exiting the bathroom in restaurants. It promises on the way to Wall Mart! And I’m the kind of ditzy girl who puts Polysporin® on her toothbrush, for sure I’ll end up in the ditch!

In short, I boosted the negative so much that I’ve decided it would be better to continue my journey, knees in the glove box. To give you an idea how my headlights are on low beams: I started cycling at 32… Yes, 32 years old!! My Lord and Savior, it’s a miracle I know how to tie my shoes. What kind of hitchhiker’s karma did I stick under my windshield wiper?

But for months now, my fan belt has begun to run: If I can drive a bike in the streets of Montreal and the steep mountains of Quebec, I can pilot a car!! I’ll get my cards instead of a boyfriend or a cab. I will kick my funk to the curb and hop behind the wheel. I keep repeating that “Fears are smaller than they appear” and I get pumped. I look in the rear-view mirror and visualize myself on the saddle :

“ ’the hell … ? Why won’t she start ? I plugged her all night ! ”

Ah, man … How expensive is the go go juice these days ! God damn !! ”

– “Ok, I’ll have to call you back, the cops are on my ass…”

– “Did I just miss my exit… ? Maybe if… ? Woah, hold your horses ! What’s your problem? Geez!

– “Holy fuck ! It’s a one way !”

And my all time favorite :

– Come on, bitch! It’s fucking green !! I’m going somewhere now and I’m going somewhere fast, so step on it !!”

Vroomvroomvroom! Mipmiiiiiiiiip!! *Give finger*

Yeah.

Can’t wait.