so i made my first big trip with Penny today. i drove down to my bro's place for a family birthday party. the thing that made it a big trip was less the distance and more the fact that it was highway driving, and a lot of it. and while being on the highway makes me a little nervous, it's not so much that. it's more the on ramps.
i haven't really done much highway driving yet, if any. the thought of merging onto a big road with lots of wacky people driving fast is anxiety-inducing. i actually chose a route to minimize the panic; rather than going straight thru the middle of town, i went out a bit on a smaller highway and picked up the main highway outside the city. and once i get past the merge onto the highway, it's not so bad.
or at least, this was how i remembered it. keep in mind, i haven't done any sort of driving in a few years. i had forgotten the joy of high winds and double rigged semis. rather than just pointing the car, i had to work at it. i made it down in just over an hour, which was what i was expecting.
maybe because i was a bit tired or sensory overloaded, it was hard, hard, hard to hang out with the family. i wasn't really focusing on the conversation much, or contributing. i spent more time just watching the dynamics. it seems to me that mom is fragile, and baffled by small things.
i worry about her, but i'm not sure what i can do to help. and even if i did know, i'm not sure i have the strength to care for another right now. there's a lot of internal healing that needs to happen first.
dad and i did walk out to check out my car. he gave me all sorts of useful 'dad advice'; funny, even as i get older and we're closer and closer to being peers, he still falls back into that role of explaining all the guy stuff i don't get. i do get it, and had actually figured out most of it already. but these are the roles we have. i picked up some speakers from him, and tucked them in the trunk of my car, then spent the ride home thinking that someone had tapped my bumper again, as the speakers would slide and thump as i slowed down. hey, at least it's not nearly annoying as having a bucket full of golf balls overturn in your trunk. why dad thought the bucket would stay standing up, i do not know. he must have been going batty by the time they reached my bro's.
i napped a little bit when i got home, sort of half hoping my best friend wouldn't call, because the drive back wore me out the rest of the way. i wanted to see her, certainly. but i also was craving a nap. she did call, and i went over and hung out. oh, and on the way over, i managed to take out the Mad Russian's drainpipe. WTF? two hours on the highway, no problem. backing out of my own driveway and taking out the neighbor's drainpipe? priceless. particularly because it didn't occur to me to hit the brake, so i continued to mangle his drainpipe, smooshing it all along the length of my car. made a nifty noise, it did.
eh. it appears to be just a little paint, which i can wash off the next time i'm free on a warm day. it was good to see my best friend, but it was also hard to listen and focus. i felt jittery, in part because of all the driving, in part because of the DrainPipe Incident, in part because the depression seems to be getting out of control. sitting there, in front of the fireplace, i almost felt as if i were watching myself try to have a conversation. i couldn't find a comfortable seat, and i wasn't sure i was really hearing everything she was saying. so. less than satisfactory day all around, i'd have to say.