caution: new driver
Third driving lesson today, second time actually driving in the streets. The instructor made me drive about a mile yesterday in full traffic with no warning. An adrenalin rush, but little more. Today, when I arrived and made it for the passenger seat to be taken as usual through the city to the practice track, he motioned for the driver’s seat and I drove almost non-stop for an hour and a half.
Ah, this feeling of omnipotence: I am steering, pushing pedals, changing gears, rarely forgetting to glance in the mirrors – all at the same time. A little wobbly, a little jerky, more than a little unsure of myself – but not of what I’m doing. Most of the time he even didn’t have to tell me to change gears, I did it instinctively like a real big girl, Mommy, look, look, no hands – aah.
– of course, there were mistakes. For Pete’s sake, it’s my first time driving a car! I rushed and then had to brake so abruptly that I felt my head bob like a Chinese toy in a trucker’s cab, more than once. And I kept swerving to the left, not accustomed to this new balance with a looming mass on the right of me that also needs to be steered. And the instructor kept snapping at me until I snapped back and almost cried with the exhaustion and the inability to perform perfectly from the get-go.
And then he let me take a break, and told me this was hard, and I was doing very well, if only I could stop rushing. He became very gentle; and I immediately stopped making a mess of myself, and drove gracefully for another 3/4 of an hour, all the way listening to his funny stories from America, or telling him about the mysterious ways of the Jews. And now I can drive. All that remains is a matter of practice (and I can’t park yet, but I can maneuver backwards).