He was an amazing driver. I used to get floored by his driving every time I got into the car. He was so passionate about driving that I suspect sometimes he loved his car more than he loved me. I would be lying if I said I didn’t mind it much. I used to get mighty jealous of 'em cars, oh yes I did.
He hated the times he was forced to be the cause of jerky turns, screeching brakes, inconsistent accelerations. He loved ‘smooth driving’, as he would call it. He hated drivers who overtook from the left, constantly honked (half-baked honking, he would say) with no rhyme or reason, had their headlights turned on to an irritatingly unnecessary proportion of brightness.
He did not mind any road; I don’t remember ever having heard him complain about roads. He could manage bad roads brilliantly, avoiding the potholes by centering the car over them with no lasting damage to either the tyre or the car or me.
He never got tired of long drives, never got tired of my constant looping of the same songs on the CD player, never got tired of the constant chattering. In fact, he is one of those few men I have known who could multi-task brilliantly – drive, talk, analyze music, observe everything on the side roads and comment on them. Perhaps, driving was so much a part of him that it never amounted to being a ‘task’.
He was a stickler for symmetrical parking. However, I never had to get down from the car to check how much space there was to fit the car or whether the angle in which the car was getting in there was right enough. He was way too intuitive about it. And, he almost always got it right first time around.
Someday, I would own a car and drive it too. Someday, I would have his favorite songs looping on the player while I attempt the task of driving. Someday, I would drive smooth irrespective of ‘minor’ externalities like roads.
Never would I be as perfect as him. But someday, I would have this undying and un-fulfill-able urge to ask him, “Dad, do you think this qualifies to be in your league of driving?”