Driving

Did I almost sideswipe you there? I’m sorry. I don’t know where I am. I drive an SUV now. Oh, yes, I know that I’m in Austin on a road. Where I fall within that road, though, I cannot say.

I used to drive a sleek little sedan. I could coax it into tight spaces and slide past that protruding bumper without even considering an extra reverse. My little girl fit perfectly in the middle of the backseat.

Then I had another baby. My little girl had to slide in behind my seat, and now I felt the constant thwack, thwack, thwack of her mallet feet. And baby wasn’t sliding anywhere at all. Getting that carseat in was like shoving a hippopotamus into a refrigerator. Have you seen carseats these days? I’m happy to report that we can now tug a spacesuit onto any baby, strap him into his Graco, and launch him to the International Space Station. We can eliminate those sissy complaints about atrophying muscles. Bobble-heads are the norm for these guys. Godspeed, babies.

I chose an SUV with nearly the same length and width as my car but with a cavernous backseat. Even with those same dimensions, I feel as though I have gone from driving a go-kart to a train. Where does this thing begin and end? When I park, I always have a caboose hanging out too far or a wheel that has jumped the track. I should re-park it, but I’ve let off my passengers by the time I notice the problem, and the thought of having to re-board them, well, I leave my off-kilter train as it is. I’m sorry.

The vehicle does have a backing camera. But I need cameras surveying every angle, shooting from side mirrors and the front bumper, even underneath the car. Where is the road? I know it’s down there somewhere.

I used to think that SUV drivers — hogging the road, double-parking — had egos as bulbous as their vehicles. Some probably do. Now I know that most are doing their best. Someday I’ll get back to a svelte car, the sort of vehicle that’s an extension of my body rather than a bubble hovering around me. Until then, I’m sorry.