I learned to drive on my parents’ car. The one they gave me. A 1970 dodge dart with a slant six engine.
That was the first car they got. In fact the only car they got.My parents were not car people. They were foot people. In their hearts and anywhere else their selves lurked, my parents were refugees. They werealways in or about to be in a state of flight. On foot. For them to choose something that was inescapably strange, like a car, was astonishing. In a moment of illuminated madness they chose the best car ever.
Not only was it a mystery how they discovered this car. It was also a mystery how each of them became licensed to drive. Both myparents wore glasses and my father wasalso deaf in one ear . He would have been about 60 years old when he was learning to drive. His hearing loss was in his right ear which, if he was behind the wheelat the time he was getting his lesson, would put him out of hearing range of the driving instruction.
I am sure my parents arrived at the drivingtest location late, bickering, blaming the other for not being ready on time. My father probably so agitated when he got into the car for the driving test, he could not figure out where to put the key. I can only presume my father bribed his successful completion of the driving test. It probably took five bucks and hewas free to roam among an unsuspecting driving public.
My father was deaf and he had a tenuous relationship with reality. A vestige of his world war two experience was that hesaw reality in a hyper-exaggerated form of menace. Particularly any reality that was different than what he was used to. He would become uncontrollably hysterical at the sight of an improperly folded newspaper. What could he possibly have thought he was going to do with a car improperly changing lanes?
My father only drove the car once. The first timehe got into the driver’s seat he rounded a corner and could not control the steering wheel. He made a complete revolution. Apparently he did not realisethat turning a corner required him to stop the rotation of the drive wheel somewhere in the movement through its circumference. The Dart ended up coming to a halt on someone’s front lawn. My Dad got out of the vehicle and walked away, never to drive it again.
To be continued...