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

passenger-like.

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?

2 thoughts on “On Driving

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