I am a terrible passenger. I am writing this so that I will not look at the road and
involuntarily wince as my husband passes trucks. It’s terrible driving weather – snow falling, temperature hovering near freezing, road deceptively black and mostly (hopefully) wet rather than icy. He’s a good driver, but I still can’t comfortably watch.
So far, to keep my eyes off the road and my hands from gripping the armrest, I have played Sudoku while listening to an audiobook, read an entire book aloud to our children, and scrolled through my phone (supposedly to read the newspaper). Now I’m writing. We’ve only been on the road for two hours. We have two and a half to go.
I wish I were a better passenger. I wish I could settle in and allow someone else to be in charge without second guessing, well, everything. When I think about it, I can feel myself sitting back and admiring the scenery. I can almost hear myself chatting breezily with my husband and not holding my breath as we round a curve. I relax because I’m not trying to hide by my ridiculous reactions. I imagine the mundane joy of showing someone how much I trust them by simply remaining calm.
But this is beyond my conscious control, and my subconscious desire to be in the driver’s seat comes with a cost: my reactions can make others less confident (or sometimes even angry); I end up doing the lion’s share of the driving; and I struggle to let go. And then there’s the emotional toll of trying to hide the irrational panic that grips me as we pass another truck.
I am a terrible passenger. It’s something I am working on.
But… after we arrived, I asked my husband to read this because I was feeling like a heel. He agreed with every word (harumph), but he swears that he only barely noticed me holding my breath once on this trip, and he says I need to add that I am a great driver. I’m pretty sure he’s not placating me. In case you’re wondering, he’s a fantastic passenger.
Slice of Life, Day 15, March 2018
Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful month.