Yesterday I had to run my errands behind the wheel of A-Cad. T-Hoe was in the shop for brakes, shocks, tires, and an oil change.
You know how it is when you drive a different car. It's like you're 15-and-half again (or maybe 8 in Arkansas) and just learning to drive. You have to concentrate on things that are automatic in your regular vehicle. Right? It's not just me, is it?
I've gotten used to A-Cad's tiny brake pedal, suited to the dainty foot of a hummingbird. I've figured out the temperature controls, and the seat heaters, and the front windshield wiper. I still find myself reaching for the column to put A-Cad in park, though his shifter is between the seats. No matter how many times I adjust the side mirrors (same exact controls as T-Hoe!!!), all I can see is the side of the car. I don't have my change cup. The cup holders for my 44 oz Diet Coke never want to let it go. I only have five radio stations tuned in on SiriusXM. The gas cap twists on all funky with a weird strap. AND that darn Garmin is suctioned to the windshield, and blocks my view. We don't even want to discuss the nerve damage in my arm from contorting to reach the bank drive-thru canister, and the ATM cash slot.
So...I was concentrating on my driving all morning. So much so that I forgot to drop by the cemetery to visit Mom's grave. I haven't been there since early last week, and I usually go a couple times on my way to town. Since I forgot, I stopped on the way home. It was like when Elaine met new friends named Kevin, Gene, and Feldman. Everything was just a little bit off.
I turned left instead of right. I parked on the correct side of the blacktop lane next to Mom's plot. I put down the passenger window to talk to her (it's always pretty much a one-sided conversation). But as always, I put the radio on Prime Country, hits of the 80s and 90s. You know, because that's what always got Mom to slapping her hand on the thigh of her jeans with the hole in the knee when I picked her up for our last Friday of the month bill-paying outings.
We (I) had a nice talk, though brief. I always mention what's going on with the boys, and what I'm up to, and any trips we have planned. I told her that I had a 44 oz Diet Coke from the new convenience store, and that she probably would have really liked it, even though she was a fan of McDonald's Diet Coke, which to me tastes like it has been sitting in a cardboard cup melting ice for about five hours. I chatted like no one was listening (not such a stretch, really), looking out that passenger window at the flat granite grave marker with the brass nameplate. It's always polite to maintain eye contact. Then I explained I was on the way home, and I'd be back next week.
As I started A-Cad, checking the right side mirror for any traffic behind me (but seeing the side of A-Cad), I realized as I pulled forward that I had been TALKING TO THE WRONG GRAVE! Mom was next to it, and the side mirror had blocked her marker. I hope the people in that plot enjoyed my chat!
Mom would have laughed and slapped her knee at that story. She's probably still laughing.
But there's more! Tomorrow.