LAST DRIVE WITH MR.NO

vespa

Yesterday I took my last driving class with Mr. No. I’m taking the test in a few hours.
I haven’t written about my progress, and not because it hasn’t been interesting, but because I’ve been busy with my new job.
Last week, during my next to last class, I was waiting for a light and glanced over at Mr. No because out of the corner of my eye his head seemed to be drooping. He was nodding out in his seat, possibly hung-over.
His eyes would open when I stepped on the gas and the car started to move. He kept nodding out at lights, and the one time I caught him doing it while I was moving, I made sure to step on the brake hard to give him a little jolt. He did not complain about my stepping on the brake hard.

tram street
We’ve been practicing three-point turns and parallel parking, and if he was a better communicator it would have been easier, but when you do things like say,
“Pull over here,” without any explanation, it gets a little frustrating and I end up doing the wrong thing, and he gets all bent out of shape.
“No, no! K-turn! K-turn!”
“Sorry, I thought you wanted to go to the bathroom again.”
There is a playground on East Broadway near Grand Street that Mr. No likes to pee in. The first time he made me pull over to the curb, I think it was the first time I parallel parked and he got out of the car. I started to get out too, thinking we were going to check how close to the curb I’d gotten. I can’t tell how close because I’m in the driver’s seat. But that was not the case.
“Stay in car! Wait.”

2013-toyota-corolla_100424604_h
That was the day it got warm and I took the opportunity to take off my leather jacket while he was peeing. I knew he’d gone to the bathroom because I saw him coming out of the playground bathroom in the rear view mirror.
The next time he asked me to pull over in front of the playground I knew, but that time he said, “Pee-pee” as he got out. Made me think of pee-pee dicky, for any Putney Swope fans out there.
Mr. No smokes, and I think that’s one of the reasons he gets a little antsy towards the end of each lesson, grabbing the wheel or yelling, “go, go, go,” when there’s a wall of people crossing Chrystie street in front of me. He’s got to have that cigarette. I even thought of changing his name to Mr. Gogo after that.
Another thing he did last week was try to make a phone call as I was driving.
That would be fine, except he’s got his phone plugged into the car and he has to press a button on the steering wheel to activate the phone. All while I am driving with both hands on the wheel.
It’s bad enough when someone grabs the wheel while you are driving, but it’s positively annoying when someone is trying to press a button on the wheel while you are making a turn. I should have slapped his hand away.
We got through the last lesson without a pee-pee run or him grabbing the wheel, but I almost ran a red light and he stepped on the brake.
“Pay attention! Look at the light!” I had been making a turn and was concentrating on looking for pedestrians and did not look at the light. But he kept his hands off the wheel when I turned back onto Eldridge Street from Grand on the way back to the start point. I guess that’s progress.

road signs
I got out of the car and said, “Thank you,” without adding, “see you next week.”
He grunted as he stood on the sidewalk to light his cigarette.
Goodbye, Mr. No.

About xaviertrevino

I like to write, take things apart and put them back together, turtles, and my lovely wife Danusia.
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