Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not quite dead - thoughts from a scrambled brain

I'm doing alright, really. But I seem to have established my identity as one of the world's great pussies as it seems like my body reacted to a fortnight of commuting to Sydney from the Central Coast in much the same way as Frodo's did to his arduous journey through Mordor. Paradoxically every night I feel like sleeping at around 8, but end up going to bed around midnight.

I find driving a remarkably stressful activity. It was humourous that I was reading Hunter S. Thompson's incredible Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at the same time, as I could see some parallels between our sociopathic behaviour. When driving every day, the sole expedient matter of importance becomes time. And therefore speed. For this reason you never, ever want to follow the Pacific Highway to the Wahroonga exit as people have continually been telling me to do. The road appears to have more traffic lights then there are grains of sand in the ocean (humourous slip - I'm leaving it in!) and nearly fucking destroyed my car. There's nothing like seeing 8 km distance on the GPS next to the next turn signal, and see this tick down by a matter of meters for the next half an hour to settle your frame of mind..

So to actually get home it's a matter of a rabbit warren of bad and good small jumbled roads through St Ives to Mt Colah, that it is an undying joy to navigate. Well, it's become straightforward enough now but there's always SOMEBODY who doesn't get the idea, that we should always endeavour to FUCKING MOVE. Road rage has always been surreal to me, as a passenger. But as a driver, it seems to be the ideal substitute for sanity. Every thought becomes absorbed in getting into the correct lane in time, overtaking this arsehole, what time is it, how many ks, speed up here, how much fuel - thousands of small anxieites piled on one another.

It probably doesn't help that it was only in this fortnight I discovered that my car is terribly uncomfortable to drive in. Oh, sure, it's perfect for a 25 minute jaunt to the train station or shops. But if you drive it for around 2 hours a day. EVERY day. Dear fucking God is it hellish. The seat doesn't sit upright unless you're some kind of reverse-hunchback, so I need to be leaning backwards. So I need to lean forward to check my mirrors, use the gearstick etc then lean back to be halfway comfortable all throughout the trip. By the end of the week my back was in agony, another little fire burning away at the cauldron my brain was in.

I need my iPod on at all times to anaesthetise the rage and stress, but it can only do so much. Hence the peculiar scene that could often be seen at the merging lane of Forest Way to Warringah Road, where a young man with his earbuds in sings like an angel in his car...

When the night, has come
And the land is dark
And the mooon is
Just as long as you stand
You stand by me
Oh darling, darliiiiin'...

I was most worried by two incidents in my last trans-coastline adventure. Firstly, the freeway - I'm going along at 115 in the slow lane, as I like it, and need to slow down because somebody is actually going slow. Fair enough, it happen- no wait, this guy is going really fucking slow. Really. Fucking. Slow. He's doing 50k. Why the fuck is he doing 50k. He could fucking kill me. Middle lane is fucking packed because people don't move back once they've overtaken. Not a single gap. I need to slow down to 50 too.

On the fucking freeway.

Good, there's a gap in the middle lane. There's some shitty range rover a few ks before me and then a solid wall of cars behind that. I can do this, I just need to accelerate like fuck. I get my car to 80/90 in a matter of seconds into the middle lane, right where I need it and at a position where I can actually get back to "Do this and you don't get killed" speed and get back into the slow lane soon ahead of that stupid truck doing 50 what an arsehole, best bit of drivi-

The fuck. Range rover beeped his horn at me. Shitty range rover beeped his horn.


I fucking floor it, soon I'm doing 160 and weaving between cars wildly, even though my exit is up in a matter of minutes, so I can catch up to those old farts in that range rover, just for the brief pleasure of screaming the absolute loudest tirade of abuse at them that my lungs are capable of, which given my voice is actually pretty fucking loud. Sadly, there was no witticism on this occassion. If you were to program a random word generator that used "Fuck" "Cunt" "Maggot" "You" "Arsehole" "fucking" "stooge" "arseclown" "the fuck" "what" "why" "where" "your dick" "belgium" and "grand rape reprobate" you would come up with something much better I assure you.

I was quite stunned at the violence and sheer insanity of my behaviour, even when I did it. This is why I question my sanity. That is not something I would sit down and decide to do. I mean, if that was part of the RTA test and option c) was "exceed the speed limit by 50 km/h in order to drive parallel to the vehicle and accuse him of being the worst human being since Chris Lillee" I would not be clicking c in a million years. It's fucking dangerous and stupid.

20 minutes later I nearly managed to drive through a red light but slammed on the brakes just in time to shear whatever rubber was left on my nearly-bald tires.

Then broke down crying.

That was now precisely two weeks ago... but it hangs over me. Am I unfit to drive? I don't know. It's possible. I definitely know I'm not the good driver that I thought I was. I'll probably be going to the Coast again this weekend and the prospect of the trip is something I'm silently dreading. The end of the journey is oh-so-rewarding. But to get there is 105 minutes of hell.

Other random thoughts:

* Working in a library as a young man is like getting a dozen-and-a-half surrogate mothers

* When I'm bored with the TV to myself I discover I like more shows than I thought. Miranda and Laid are quite entertaining.

* England you fuckers, you're not meant to win games! Stop it! Stop it right now!

* Ireland, though, you fucking rock!

* A fart never sounds louder than it does in the library

* There's a reason I hate posting about relationship stuff. A lot of reasons....

* A corollary to Clarke's law would be "Having enough IT knowledge is indistinguishable from being an accomplished sorcerer". In this case, 'enough IT knowledge' is 'enough to see the monitor isn't connected to the actual computer'. Yes, the bar is set low.