My Dearest Darling
When you came to these fair shores there was one thing I couldn’t do for you. Strange as it may seem but I had never learnt to drive a car. Technically that is not 100% accurate, but for the purposes of the story I no longer had a license (and no I had not lost it through any poor behaviour on my part, including drink driving). My lack of a license brought with it a number of issues: I didn’t own a car, you were used to driving on the opposite side of the road, and we struggled to find a car hire company that would accept my credit card with your license.
I however was insistent that you see the sites so we found a little company, in Westmead, I think, that would let us hire a vehicle. Well there were a number of things that I remember.
Firstly there was your clear impatience and trouble with stop signs. While driving from Jenolan Caves to the Hunter Valley, we were on some back street in Sydney, trying to avoid the traffic, and approached a stop sign. You asked me if it was ok to go if there was no traffic. I replied “no” and explained that you still had to stop. Clearly deciding I was an unlicensed ignoramus you ignored my advice and made the left turn anyway, much to my amused amazement.
Not long after you expressed your incomprehension at what we call a “silent cop.” Now this is a bright yellow plinth that had about a 3 inch or 90 mm profile that is used as a guide by motorists so as to not cut corners. Having never encountered one before, you were clearly baffled and quick to ridicule. They are quite an old fashioned traffic management device in this day and age. However on hearing you recall this story I laughed out loud when I encountered one in the back streets of Newcastle today.
The most sphincter tightening moment for me was however when we were leaving Katoomba. Then, on the Great Western Highway, you decided that the right hand side would be far more appealing than the more traditional left hand side. I decided that I may need a change of underwear.
In fact you did a stellar job of driving me around my fair city and its surroundings. I remember it with great warmth. But my fondest memory of driving with you concerns none of those things. It was placing my right hand on your leg as you drove. I could feel the electricity. I feel it to this day. I would give much money and many personal body parts to be able to look up into your eyes, smile and place my hand gently, but firmly on your left leg again, and then just leave it there for the duration.
You Will Always Be My Darling
From Sir With Love
I fear I may not be able to reply to this letter appropriately as I am gigging so intensely after reading it. Oh, the memories are many.
I was perplexed that you didn’t drive at the time, but the public mode of transportation system of Sydney cleared up that confusion pretty quickly. My recent trip to Tokyo, Japan reiterated the brilliance of having such a system. I do remember wondering at the wisdom in throwing a “goddamn Yank” behind the wheel of an Australian car, but your faith in me was unwavering.
A gentleman would not have pointed out my faux pas while driving backwards in your country, but it was good to hear you laugh. You did, however, leave out a few minor details that will clear up any obvious confusion.
I did stop at stop signs. I didn’t blow through them, Sir, and I scoff at the notion. The incident in question was a stop light. In my country, one can turn right on a red light (after coming to a full stop) if there is no traffic coming. I asked if that were true in turning left (remember backwards design here). You stated “no” that I had to wait for a green light. There was absolutely NO traffic in the vicinity, and I was certain you were wrong. No harm no foul, so I proceeded to turn. I was an ignorant fool, and I apologize. I can still hear your laughter ringing through the car after you screeched like a girl. I have no doubt that I stuck my tongue out at you then (and now).
Those ‘silent cop’ thing-a-ma-jigs still baffle me. They appeal to my rational mind like some kind of driving video game. The more I hit, the more points I can rack up. Of course I never hit one, but I felt their magnetic pull. The temptation was fierce, but I managed to be victorious over their evil power after you told me that if I hit one, we’d blow out a tire. Fabulous!
Now that highway event makes me cringe to this day. To your credit you remained composed as my habitual driving took over and I headed to the right side of the road. I was oblivious to the fact that it was a six lane highway. You just calmly reached over and guided me back to the WRONG side of the road and only released your breath once we were well on our way. I daresay I noticed finger grip marks on your side of the car, and I wondered where they came from. And might I add that I care about all your body parts including your sphincter, my love. Being in love addled my brain enough at the time without having to flip my way of thinking to operate a motorized vehicle in a foreign country; we were crazy. I’m certain we wouldn’t change a thing. Talking about it now brings tears of mirth, but only because we are safely ensconced in our own homes instead of looking death in the face by having me drive on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road.
Your favorite memory of driving is also my favorite memory. Your hand represented so much to me – strength, support, warmth, and love. If your hand were to find its way to my leg again Sir, we wouldn’t be driving – electric indeed.
©2013 Darling and Sir