On Driving

When i was at uni my car was old,

a little manual 5 speed Mazda in various fades of blue.

If i wanted to overtake i had to plan well ahead

and be on the slower car’s tail exactly as the overtaking lane

veered out to the right


If the overtaking lane was on an ascent,

there was serious gear selection to consider

and timing was critical or i would simply press the accelerator

and get no reaction.


I used to make mixed tapes for long drives.

I had an old tape deck on the passenger seat

which had lost the face of the cassette insert

so I could just jam tapes in as I drove along.

They were better than coffee.


The interior light didn’t work and smart phones

weren’t around then so navigating new territory

in the dark was quite an adventure.


On the highway I would overtake all the big trucks

on the uphills but they would swoop past me

on the way back down.

I always made sure I indicated

to help them know it was okay to change lanes.

It was like early social media…

communicating with somebody I would likely never meet.

Once at a truck stop I heard a truckie

order his coffee with seven sugars.

I think he was on a tougher schedule than me.

I should have offered him a mixed tape.


Now we have a Tesla

It is quicker and more powerful

than some super cars

and will steer for me if i want.

If you asked me I am not sure I could

confidently tell you how to turn on the

windscreen wipers although i assume

its not that different to other cars.


The silent engine and no gear selection

mean speed indicators are minimal

so i glance at the screen

although i could just use cruise control

and sit at the steering wheel


i can ask Spotify for any song I want,

activate Sat Nav or make a phone call

without my hands leaving the steering wheel.


I love our Tesla. I love how clean it is and how clever.

But can I honestly still say that I drive?

3 thoughts on “On Driving

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