Sempre em frente

Day 13: smidgins of joy

Smidgins of joy as my bit of the planet shifts gear.

By way of continuity of information, I should report that I did have a biscuit emergency last night, but dealt with it swiftly.

Biscuit chomping certainly helped on last night’s stretch of hawk-eye revision armed with my custom-built, multipurpose SVO agreement and BS detector with optional yellow blobbing, rapid-fire punctuator and comma-removal attachment incorporating infrared repetition scanner and fact-checker dongle. Strapped Lara-Croft-style to my leg, of course, is my variable-drive termo-consistentizer designed to control flow and simultaneously scramble even the calmest of brains while serving as extra biscuit storage in stormy weather.

Battlefield imagery for ‘revising a book’? Of course!

‘Revising a book’ is the simplest, and most misleading, way to explain the work on my current project. For a more accurate version of what is involved, please refer to the paragraph above.

Immediately after an all-night mission traversing landscapes now thoroughly combed by my monolingual discombobulator, I had to leap in and out of the shower and into the real world, and traverse on foot just over four kilometres down to the village. It seems silly to walk all that way just to get into a car, but that is what I did.

One victory down, one to go

Having just completed one task, I felt upbeat, as I kept moderately fast but relaxed and rhythmical pace to my 42-minute walk. I made “Post-It notes in my head” of things I needed to be mindful of, and then scrunched up the imaginary bits of paper and threw them to the wind.

For today, I had my driving test. I had let the validity of my previous licence lapse. Before the test, I had to drive to a city 35 km away, where the driving instructor gave me one last lesson before the test. I was not nervous. I had had good instructors who took care to point out the little bad habits I had picked up over the years. Besides, if I failed, then the horizon would lengthen considerably, because then I would no longer be exempt from the necessity of taking the theoretical part of the test. And that would mean months before I would be ready for another driving test.

So, I had narrowed my sphere of vision down to the general maximum of 45 minutes that a driving test takes as the period during which I had to shut my mouth and listen carefully, remain vigilant, and drive properly. Oh, and look lively and not yawn. I managed that, and also kept a lid on any singing, humming and whistling that normally occurs.

I have to say that my performance was not stellar.

I had a few points docked, that’s for sure, and misunderstood the examination inspector’s instruction once (how effing embarrassing), which meant we had to go on a quick, unplanned, detour.

There is no chatter during the test. There is silence, and a kind of forced awareness. It was not unpleasant, but something one has to live with until it is over with a kind of well-balanced patience bordering on boredom. Other people also call it calm.

Anyhow, I became aware, although did not let on, that at a certain point in the test, the examiner began testing numerous things a second and even a third time. The only way to respond is by following the instructions to the letter, in a muted, measured, and reasonable way. The delicate game was on; a bit like chess, but lighter. Like fishing with a rod and line for tiddlers. Yeah. Like that. Except without the outward expression of joy.

My joy-smidignator was itching to be reactivated. There was only one solution to this tiddler-fishing endgame going on in the car (also called a driving test). So I took the solution: I merely adopted the posture and inward attitude of one who says ‘I am prepared to continue to do this for as long as is necessary, in the same unrushed and composed fashion.’ Peace, purpose, love, understanding. Om.

As soon as I did that, the examiner began giving me instructions which led the car back in the general direction of the examination centre. My cheeky inner chicken smiled; the rest of me merely observed her. Om.

The biggest splodge of joy today was when I passed my driving test.

Yes, 39 years after I passed it the first time around. I held on to my splodge until I definitely had the licence in my hand.

Do I really need to draw my inner chicken?

Once I got home, it was amazing how quickly my true fatigue kicked in. After a nutritious sandwich and something to drink, the last thing I remember before passing out was that I was still holding on to my splodge of joy in the form of a spare pillow.

When I awoke, hours later, the incongruity – or rather, the congruity, of my wardrobe choice today occurred to me for the first time. My jeans, shoes and handbag were the same colour as the dark grey and black of the interior of the car I took my driving test in; my shirt was red, an exact match with its exterior.

Visually, at least, where I ended and where the car began would have been difficult to discern. I should also mention that my outfit was not premeditated; I had planned to wear something totally different. Make of that what you will. It made me giggle. And that’s always a good thing.

©2019 Allison Wright

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