I feel the fragility of life more keenly these days than I ever have before. This is my age and the impact my parents’ deaths showing. But it’s being away from home as well. Living here, I am way outside my comfort zone on about a gazillion different levels (I know, you might not have noticed, I’ve been keeping it to myself).
If I were to tell you each of the reasons I feel uneasy here, for many of them you would scoff. No, really, you would. There’s the obvious reasons and one or two of them are big, important things, but mostly, it’s a never-ending succession of small, tiny, itsy-bitsy things that leave me, each day, flabbergasted, trying to understand, but increasingly certain that for me, the place is incomprehensible.
Look at this article for example. In the town where I grew up, lads, young blokes, however you describe them, would have done the same kind of thing. I’ve been in cars that were driven by boys doing dumb things. This is not a culturally-specific event.
Only where I grew up, it wouldn’t have been so…I don’t know, so in your face. And plus, we were a working class community, with not so much money to burn on the roads.
I don’t know what it is that I’m trying to say here, what conclusion I’m trying to draw. The mister drives along that road a couple of times each week, my mother died in a car accident, I have my own two young boys to guide, I like public transport…of course watching this makes my heart race, my breaths shallow, the shoulder muscles tense.
But there’s something more to it than that. Something about my powerlessness that re-awakens or, more precisely, reinforces, my uneasiness. Perhaps it’s just that all over the world, middle-aged women are invisible to young men in cars. And it worries me.
Interestingly, if we try to go directly to the clip on youtube from here, it seems to have been blocked, but we can view it through the newspaper just fine. I don’t understand.