Saturday, April 17, 2010

Roadworthy

We both drove out, two cars, which seems a little wasteful, but then Maggot destroyed both our number plates. Her back one and my front one. He goes mad dog when it storms (this is a new manifestation and quite scary) and destroys something. Destroys it so utterly and effectively that there is no putting it together again.

We made it to the mechanic fine, my car following hers, going slowly, our lack of number plates on display. The mechanic fixed our problems, laughed at us, asked about the destructive dog (Maggot by name, maggot by nature) and then I prepared to follow Mum back. Which is when things went horribly horribly wrong.

I'm following her as she misses the turning we're supposed to take, the turning she has probably taken, like a million times before, and goes on to Courts, beyond Courts and then the road ends and we are forced to turn into this posh housing estate. A posh housing estate with one entrance which also functions as the exit and Mum is manipulating her car through strange roads trying to find a way out. Instead of simply turning around and going out the way we came in.

We arrive at a great expanse of sand, a house under construction, which effectively puts paid the the road we were on. It's time to reverse, to get out of there. But even then, as she reverses, she stops a postman who is on his rounds, delivering mail in that very isolated and empty area, eyeing us curiously. She stops him and gets him to tell her how to get out. When it should be obvious. I mean, just the way we came in.

And then she turns the car and heads out the way we came in and we arrive at Courts once again. Now if you turn right at Courts, you end up the wrong way on a double lane going in a single direction. What you have to do is cross over to the other side of the road and make a turn into the road going in the opposite direction.

You'd think Mum would know this. She's lived here all her life. She's lived here as we, one by one, moved to KL. Instead, she gets on the wrong side of the road and starts trundling down happily in the wrong direction. I watch horrified, unable to do anything. I horned a few times when I saw she was about to get into the road, but Mum, not knowing who it was horning, ignored it and went anyway.

I have a choice. I could follow her on the wrong side of the road. I could cross over and get onto the right side. I cross over and get onto the right side. After all, two wrongs don't make a right. And watch in horror as the legitimate traffic coming in the opposite direction start honking and flashing her. What on earth does this old lady think she's doing? We continue like this for a while, me watching carefully, Mum, having lost sight of me thinking I'm lost, till we come to a traffic lights. At this point she crosses over to the right side of the road. (which is the left).

When we get home I ask her what she thinks she was doing. She covers it up. I said, why did you turn into that road? She said, she forgot. Didn't know. I say, why did you take us to that housing estate? She says, I missed the turning. How could you miss the turning when missing the turning meant crossing a whole road over to the other side?

She's been sick, very sick this week. That's why I'm here. I came over to look after her. She could barely get out of bed, heavy with phlegm and a shattered throat. I cooked and generally saw that she took her meds, etc. We went to the hospital and to pay a couple of bills on Wednesday. I drove.

Today is the first day she's driving. And I'm starting to be afraid that my ultra-capable Mum, the one who could do anything, talk to anybody, get anything she wanted, is no longer roadworthy.

1 comment:

Tudor Rose said...

It's a scary feeling, seeing our parents grow older.