Learning how to drive is hard. That’s what two years in Michigan has taught me. I am usually someone who’s proud of being up for a new challenge, particularly if it comes with a positive consequence. Learning how to cook (via blog) has turned out to be fruitful; we eat well on a nightly basis and I no longer poke at my plate excited about ordering take out the next night. Picking up running a couple of times a week has developed nice calves. Learning calligraphy gave me nice wedding invitations. But driving? I can see the boons of learning it in the distance: freedom, not having to walk to town, shopping at the mall without waiting for Jimmy to be in the mood to wait for me like an unhappy steed. Driving has its obvious benefits.
Yesterday, however, I sat in the driver’s seat, frozen in the middle of a not-so-busy but not-so-deserted street, caught in the middle of a botched up parallel parking job. I started sweating. I saw the not-so-distant future before me: a giant streak across the side of the blue Nissan next to me and our 12-year-old Honda Accord. My heart beat so loudly I could barely hear Jimmy’s instruction to turn the wheel right, no, the other right. “HELP ME!!!” I screamed at him, turning the wheel violently from one side to the next. “HELP ME!!!” I turned to tug at his shirt collar, started hyperventilating as I saw a car approach ours in the rear view mirror, and I burst into tears.
In retrospect, the situation was pretty silly, not one that merited a panic attack that I definitely had at 2:30 in the afternoon with the car in a 45 degree angle from the street. Yet there is the issue with sore subjects, isn’t it? They’re never as bad as you make them out to be, yet in the moment, they become the flame in the coal oven that you feel like you’re being fed into. Right now the witch doing the pushing is abstract, and perhaps there’s the real issue. I can’t tell what I’m fearing most. Perhaps it’s just the driver’s test – and once I’ve passed the thing the breath will come, the flame will die to embers, and I’ll be kicking off to push the accelerate.
So for tonight’s dinner, I present ramen: something easy, soothing to soul, and full of goodies. I took this recipe, but cut the vegetable broth to 4 cups, and added four cups of water.