i’m squinting over a four-leaf clover…of brake lights and rain glare…man i’m gettin’ older

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my night vision, at least in rain like we have here on the east coast right now, is getting crappy. i’m actually taking eye strain and safety into account in decisions about my potential departure time today. i’ll be driving, probably three hours or so. on the route i’m traveling, the length of time it takes depends largely on factors that involve traffic…rush hours, rain volume, tractor trailer stability, mercury’s position, sun glare and/or extra-interesting tire-changing displays can make the traffic here into tremendous traffic. so i want to miss said traffic as much as possible, which is easier to do at night than in the afternoon. i’d also love to see my daughter one more time before i leave. but then…(big sigh)…i catch myself concerned, ticking off the safety checks in my head, the tirednesses in my brain…i tell myself i have to work early in the morning tomorrow, there could be night construction traffic too, seeing my daughter would probably upset us more than comfort…but really, if i’m honest, i just don’t feel like driving with my crappy wet-road night-vision the whole time.

i’ve driven some incalculable number of miles, in every conceivable driving condition, beautiful and extreme. i’ve ridden shotgun for as many miles as that. i’ve put more than 300,000 miles on the cars i’ve actually ow(n)ed. lord knows how many on some rentals and friends’ cars. and then there were my parents’ cars. surprise, mom and dad! except that i’m sure you noticed the odometer, didn’t you? i thought i was so slick. you’d think after the 45th play of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it might have occurred to me that my parents probably noticed i’d driven 60 miles when i said 6. but i was so much smarter than everyone. mind meld, mind meld.

so at 39 my driving habits are changing. i’ve slowed down a little, mellowed out quite a bit, and cut down on risk-taking a LOT (at least on purpose). that’s all happened in the last couple of years, corresponding predictably with the insertion of another legal liability in the vehicle. that whole “baby on board” thing has some merit…not the little signs…but for the driver and new mom, it does feel a little weightier emotionally to chance a risky right on red. so yeah, i still wish i was driving a station wagon-cloaked indy car sometimes…but that’s what those rentals are for…hehe.

that’s what those rentals were for…until i noticed how much i can’t freakin’ see if it’s raining at night. it’s real. damn. my whole body wants to delete this post, deny this entire observation. i can say i like getting older as much as i want, but i can see (though it’s blurry), that some of it will suck. i can make it suck hilariously at least. and i can look at the bright side of everything right through some cataracts if i have to. i can take it with grace and make things easier on myself, make choices that mean i don’t have to push and push, just because i can…until i can’t. if i sit here writing this post instead of getting ready to go, i will be forced to test my residual rain driving skills and vision. the real test then, of my concern and of the death of my prideful obstinance, is how much more i write.

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