Monday 12 August 2002

A summer drive

At the leading edge of the short sloping bonnet, just inches from where my feet flick from pedal to pedal, the road is being consumed. The tarmac is funnelled between the rounded shoulderblades of the wheelarches, each dip and bump digested by the engine that sparks and revs behind my head, before being smoothly discarded into the rear view mirror.

Built up with layer upon layer of paint-daub clouds on pale-blue, sun-smeared canvas, the yawning sky above revolves, skips and leaps in time with the dimples of the road and the smooth turns of the steering wheel.

The speakers behind my ears have built a cocoon of music to soundtrack the movement, but I can only hear it when the need for concentration eases and I have the spare mental cycles to listen. Behind the music, the engine pitch changes in precise and exact concert with the pressure of my right foot and the movements of my left hand.

At a bend, I perform a smooth body dance, pitching forward into the strong arm of the seat belt, sliding lazily sideways in opposition to the small turn of the steering wheel, before my right foot again sends me pressing comfortingly into the gentle contours of the seat.

My subsconcious is driving, I'm not aware of steering, the car is making its own flowing course through the piled green summer banks of the hedgerows and the shimmering straw yellow of harvest ready fields.

Even at slow speeds on dank, dark days, with the roof on, driving my car always feels this way.

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