Sunday, April 15, 2018

I've been driving all night, hands wet on the wheel

I hate to drive. I always have. It's a chore and a hassle and I just don't like it. My wife, however, loves to drive. So, you might say we have a marriage made in Detroit.... or something like that. (We both drive Japanese cars, but, for the sake of a joke, you know what I mean.)

I drove to every job I ever had and hated every gut-wrenching, white-knuckled minute of it. I hated driving in bad weather, especially when it snowed. I am not a particularly good driver (oh, I'll admit it) and sometimes I have difficulty navigating slick and snow-covered streets. I am also fearful of other drivers who don't change their reckless driving habits to suit the weather conditions. 

In 2007, I started a job that allowed me to take the train everyday. That was great. My car sat in the same parking space nearly six days per week, while I sauntered, carefree, to the train station that is conveniently located at the end of my street. Even on weekends or evening events, I would opt to take the train when my destination was downtown Philadelphia (which it often was). Sure, I had my share of complaints about my daily train commute — passengers putting their bangs on the empty seat next to them, despite posted policy comes to mind — but, compared to driving.... well, there was no comparison.

Now, eleven years later, I find myself back in the fast lane. Sort of. I started a new job and I no longer will be taking the train to work. I drive. Luckily, my work hours allow me to leave my house and drive in the direction where I can see a huge majority of drivers from Philadelphia's northern suburbs inching their way towards the city. The traffic in the opposing lanes moves at a snail's pace as I happily zip along on the wide open macadam. I get to hear the morning show on my favorite radio station and it's pretty smooth sailing for the approximately forty-minute drive.

But, all things in this world are not perfect. Several times during the last two weeks, I have encountered a traffic stoppage due to a train crossing (how ironic!) and several drivers who were more interested in their cellphones than paying attention to the other cars on the road. I was behind a fellow on a single lane road who nearly hit the curb twice and crossed the double yellow line three times as he leaned over towards the passenger seat in his car, his head only popping up when he needed to make a quick steering adjustment. I was delayed this evening by an accident and a number of cars not wishing to yield to an approaching ambulance.

Perhaps, I will get used to being a regular driver again. Now that I think about it, I suppose it's people I have to get used to.

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