Saturday, March 19, 2022

Driving Me Nuts

 My mom was 90 when we took away her license. More precisely, when her license was not renewed, thanks to some questionable information we supplied her about the requirements for sustaining her right to strike fear in us every time the car keys were in her hands.

By that time, she had a few accidents and was unable to remember how to get from here to there, the dementia beginning to take a stranglehold on her existence.

Like so many others before and since, she fought tooth and nail to retain what she perceived as her last vestige of independence. And I proclaimed to anyone in earshot, that would not be me. Better too soon than too late. 

Please rewind to erase my earlier statements. I now advise in no uncertain terms that I will glue myself to the wheel so you cannot pry my shriveled hands from control of my own destiny and destination.

Forget Uber or Lyft. Screw the savings on insurance or maintenance. Give me the damn keys and step aside.

I injured myself on January 7th of this year in a fall that I have chronicled in chapter and verse, page be page and inch by inch. My shoulder and I doing battle for supremacy. So far, I am in second place.

Not that there have been setbacks. All is moving forward according to plan. Well, according to my shoulder's plan that is.

Since then I have been unable to drive a car. At first it was but a footnote, an asterisk on the road to recovery. Now, as the immediacy of injury recedes, the insult takes center stage.

This is my 52nd year behind the wheel. My family would suggest it is maybe 52 too many. Apart from my idiot savant skills at parallel parking, the rest of my navigating leaves much to be desired. Or more accurately, undesired.

I miss turns on an alarming basis. I wander over lines with unrelenting frequency. I am far too often honked at, cursed out and generally dissed by those in other vehicles who must deal with my driving inadequacies. I am a virtual accident waiting to happen.

My friends for more than half a century have made certain, if a choice was to be made, that I was the last one picked as driver. And if I was getting us from A to B, no one volunteered to sit in the front passenger seat.

But that has not deterred me. Neither rain, sleet, snow nor an occasional near collision could keep me from my appointed rounds. Until January 7th of this year. And counting.

My wife doesn't like to drive. And can't see at night. With each passing day, leading to every week and now stretching into endless months, the weight of waiting for me to snap up the keys, has become heavier on each of us. My not driving now far more annoying than my bad driving. My not driving now driving both of us nuts.

 I now have a much more intimate, far greater appreciation for those who complain bitterly about losing their last vestige of independence, of having their final freedom, the freedom of movement, stolen from them. It stings and it stinks.

So when next the keys are firmly in my grasp and you ask where I am going the answer will be simple. Wherever the spirit moves me. Whenever it does.


Harvey F Leeds said...


Anonymous said...

A good one


Anonymous said...

Love it! And a great tribute to Mom's insistence on driving herself.


Anonymous said...

Love it !


galngotham said...

Totally relate to this!

Anonymous said...

You go, guy - don’t let pain, rain, snow, sleet, hail or glare wear you down or out!


Anonymous said...

I need a job in my retirement


Anonymous said...

I won't even let them put your bag on the driver's side of the golf cart!


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNgcYGgtf8M --RE

Anonymous said...

I have a spare set of keys if you forget where you left the other one