18 April 2007

Stresses of driving

After sending my mum to work by car I obviously had to get back home by car. I couldn't relax when I drive so the whole time I only kept my eyes on the road, as if I didn't want to shift my vision elsewhere. Not even to turn my head to check right, left, rear view mirror. Tense. Arr. Being a car requiring frequent gear-changing and clutch-accelerator co-ordination, I stalled the engine when that co-ordination wasn't right.

When I drive you can see what sort of person I am. I mean, how I look at life. I focus on what's in front of me, not so much what's around me. What's here now. It was like tunnel vision. Sort of. It takes force for me to look left or right or wherever else for that matter, checking blind spots, checking the mirrors, being aware of my surrounding. I'd have to remind myself to not be so tense and remember to check mirrors and blindspots when necessary.

Responsiveness level, however, is dangerously lagged. I have yet to experience my first major traffic jam or real road accident (touch wood) and I am mentally preparing myself not to panic. I wonder if I am able to respond in a split second, then perhaps an accident could've been avoided. But I am so... slow? Everytime I drive I wonder if I should be driving. And to fear being involved in an accident is what can precisely pull me towards an accident. Today, the thought of that was enough to make me decide to take the train to work instead of drive. So when I got home I parked the car in frustration, grabbed my bag, held Sandra Brown's Hello, Darkness in my hand, stuck music in my ears, and started walking. That was a relief.

But it would be strange to imagine that at any point in time during driving if it gets too stressful, I would stop, step out, leave the car and start walking. To hell with everything. My strange thinking.

Maybe it's the environment I am driving in that's stressful.
A city.
Traffic everywhere.
People everywhere.
Speeding.
Impatience.
Sudden-dashes.
Buses and trucks.
Tiny unpredictable motorbikes.
Curbs.
Lines and arrows.
Signs.
Bumper to bumper.
Dreadful!

I should try driving at 4am in the morning again. The roads would be clear, no car following so close behind me as if the driver's my murderer, and zero pedestrians. Almost. The only part about driving that I enjoy the most is cruising on the highway with as little distraction as possible and landscapes are passing by.
But a city?
Dreadful.

Why is it that reality - to some point - freak me out? Lack of exposure perhaps. Though a part of me still believes that reality isn't that bad. Isn't as bad as I thought. Isn't as bad as I think it is. It isn't bad at all maybe. It's being in a state of not-stepping-out-of-the-box for so long that makes facing reality bittersweet. Times like these call for a trustworthy someone. A friend, an acquaintance, a stranger, a lover, whoever to consult with. Seclusion wouldn't be a good option considering that how I got there to that state in the first place was -because- of seclusion.

Haven't been six feet under lately. What's it been... maybe almost a month. Which is better than expected. I still get ups and downs - the glory of being human - but right now it will help to get some sleep. Long day tomorrow.

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