“Wind In The Willows”
“Dad, why don’t you just put your glasses on?”
“I’m fine” he says squinting as if looking straight into the sun.
“I really think you’d feel better if you wore them though. I’d feel better anyway.”
“It’s ok, Jem. Just every now and again it all goes a bit blurry.”
“Up close or far away?”
“OK. Fine. Great” i say in submission.
It’s not that i want to make him feel old and in need of help from the ophthalmology department, but I value my life and, right now, he’s driving. It’s midnight on the autobahn and he just told me to ‘shhh’ as he narrowly made the exit I saw from about 2 miles away but he only noticed as we were nigh on past it.
“Blimey that came up out of nowhere didn’t it???” He said, feigning nonchalance.
“Well….. no, Dad, it didn’t really – not to those of us with SIGHT.”
Hanging off the handle bar of the passenger side, face twitching as I try to suppress my screams, I do my level best not to wee in the seat as the right hand wheels lift completely off the ground and we all lean, together, in the same direction, as if somehow the collective weight of the 3 of us will make all the difference in saving us from imminent car roll.
When I think of the countless lectures I received growing up about road safety, taking your time, not going too fast and always being a patient driver – the fact that now I’m being driven home by Toad of Toad Hall seems a tads ironic.
“Is it windy outside?” My lovely German promotor’s floating head asks from the back seat. ” cos sometimes, the car, it feels like it’s….swimming.”
It’s a kind interpretation of what is actually happening but I feel it may have very little to do with the wind.
“Yes, it does feel windy tonight .” Dad confirms. “Quite blowy.”
“Why can I smell mint sauce??” He asks, a smidge appalled. “It smells like a roast dinner in here.”
“What are you on about?? Can’t smell anything – I have chewing gum, is that it?”
“No it smells like meat.”
Couple of seconds later I remember I’ve bought my cheesey meatballs back in a styrofoam cup and that, mixed with the smell of my minty gum, may be the reason behind the roast dinner wiff invading his nostrils. I don’t say anything though.
“Golly, it really is quite hard to see these line markings, they haven’t made them very clear, have they?”
“Maybe I should pull over and put my glasses on.”