The art that is driving

Perhaps you wouldn’t like it when I call driving an art. For when it is, people would have to look for relevance, work on their creative juices, and think outside the box while thinking twice. For when it is, people would have to be slightly insane.

I was kidding on the last thought.

But in my case, since the moment I opened the car doors and faced the steering wheel, I knew it would be an art. There are times when I get blinded and intimidated of the street lights as well as the other cars’ lights. I like the fact that I could appreciate well the night sky when I am driving. That was the night I noticed a red-dyed full moon. I was about to tell my mom, who was then my chaperone seated on the back but I winced and thought it might just be the (day)dreams of a beginner.

From the moment my instructor spoke and ordered me to start the engine, I knew driving isn’t far from art.

Perhaps that poem of e.e. cummings was running in my mind. It said:


was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on


Exactly the same idea I had of driving. Browse through my Twitter account (lindley_agustin) and you’ll get it. Driving is always like a temptation, in any form; there’s an urge giving you a feeling of not wanting to get away from it.

For driving students, starting the engine requires grace. As the key shifts from one point to another, it isn’t as sudden as when opening a door knob. It is like punching and pressing a salted bread or, pan de sal.

Pressing either of the gas pedal or the break pedal would take time to find the right blend. You cannot press it normally like pressing the pedal of an amusement bump car – it would kill you both ways.

There was one thing my instructor told me: you have to find the rightest amount of break and gas. And one thing I learned as a sidebar other than the ‘science of driving’ is control. You are not in your own bicycle.

Turning and holding the steering wheel takes minimal strength. Honestly. First-time drivers hold it like a knife when slicing a potato, or a sword in battle. Honestly, in a straight highway and at constant speed, you may not hold it at all. It is not the steering wheel that puts your life at stake but the pedals.

First-time drivers perhaps treats the wheel as something that controls and protects the whole car – which sounds funny.

In learning how to drive, I also look at it as art and journalism. One, it would take time for me to be comfortable with the instructor – half an hour at most – and follow his every command. For at first, I am driving a car (which also is a lethal device) and the fact I could go places veers my attention away from what the instructor says.

Moreover, driving is boredome as one goes along. The total point of it is not learning how to do it but learning to be free without sacrificing responsibility, discipline, and control. I would admit during my last day, that time when driving only requires one to be half-conscious. Hell, I was listening to the radio newscast and discussions and I learned a lot.

The whole point of driving only becomes concrete when you reach your destination. There was a day when we were just driving along EDSA without actually having a particular place in mind – making the trip pointless and utterly blank.

But I’ve learned a lot.

1. Driving per se.

2. That driving isn’t too far away from dancing.

3. That journalism works best in dealing with different instructors. Though it is a clear as glass you won’t learn with someone that impatient, you can’t help but to force him and yourself to learn.

4. That driving gives you boast that lasts a long period of time

5. It made me realize that cars are like people too – with attitudes you would adjust on.

6. That driving instructors does not belong to the coolest job. They receive minimal pay and experience life not at the very most (Driving instructors of A1 driving, my driving school, mostly came from Nueva Ecija, my province, for the proprietor is a native of the province. They live in makeshift houses along sidewalks of A1 training tracks.)

7. That because they do it everyday, they think things forward like a journalist.

I couldn’t wait for my dad to buy me a car I could call my own. And a car is a like a pet, you get along with it as much as you have to get over from the intimidation it gives you in the beginning. The lights of the dashboard would – for sure.


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