Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Car Sick

Thick, dark cramps in the lowest pit of my stomach.
I feel my self esteem hinged on my (in)ability to parallel park.
There's a reason I don't drive, a good one. I don't talk about it, because these are the feelings it elicits.
My friend tries to teach me his technique using his belt buckle as reference. I am distracted.
Another friend uses her pickup truck to teach, though she admits that even she can't park the thing.
I pay for lessons and spend the whole time trembling and flinching.
I hold it together behind the wheel, but as soon as I'm done, I am sick. Literally. Usually on the sidewalk.
I'm trying to shake the past, to forget the things I can't forget.
But I keep reaching for the lever to turn on the windshield wipers to wipe away my tears.

I can do it when no one is watching.
I can learn on my own.
It's the instructor who makes me nervous, the idea of the tester and his clipboard and his judgement.
Pass - fail.
It scares me to be so vulnerable, to have someone witness potential mistakes. It takes me back to a time when those mistakes would be punished with blows.

I am terrified.
Driving triggers my terror.
I am terrified.

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