Saturday, April 10, 2010

(Not) Driving Mr. Bob

One great word that's not used as much as it used to be is "eccentric".  In its heydey, the word was used to describe someone that was a little bit (or even a lot bit) nuts, but in a way that was harmless or even charming.
  • Sample Sentence #1: "Eustace's eccentric Uncle Claude always thinks he's a carrot on Tuesdays."
  • Sample Sentence #2: "That Bob's a nice enough guy, but in some ways he's more eccentric than a bedbug."
But I digress.

I learned to drive at the same age others did, and did the normal amount of driving while I still lived with my parents.  But when I left home, I lived in a community where it was fairly convenient to get most places by bus or even by foot.  The next three communities I lived in also made it reasonably possible, most of the time anyway, to do without a car.  So, I went about twenty years during which I didn't own a car and rarely drove.  I'm grateful for the friends who have helped me with various transportation needs, but I've been able to be largely independent.

A few years ago, I finally broke down and bought a car.  After getting used to being behind the wheel again, I came to really enjoy the things it let me do.  I even enjoyed getting lost while learning my way around the city.

The trouble is, I proved not to be very good at driving.  I had three accidents in two years.  The first one was clearly my fault.  The second one was clearly not my fault.  The third was at an icy consideration, and the Great Computer in the Sky says it's my fault even though I don't look at it that way.  And there were all the times when I did something that might have caused an accident and didn't.

And it got in my head.  Now, although I'm not proud of this, driving terrifies me.  Every intersection seems to offer potential for disaster.

So, by and large, I don't drive.  There are entire months in which I don't drive.  Recently, I had to buy a new battery because I hadn't driven in so long the old one drained empty.

I'm fortunate in that I'm able to do just about everything I need to either walking or on the bus.  But sometimes there's something I'd really like to do that I can't get to.  And sometimes there are things that others would like me to do that I feel unable to do.  This is painful -- but it's where I am.

What does this have to do with diabetes?  I don't really see that it has anything to do with it.  But then, I'm a bit eccentric.

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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.