The steering wheel felt smooth and round – just as I imagined it would be. The world from behind the windscreen looked different, more rectangular and narrow. I locked my eyes on the dashboard trying to comprehend all the little buttons, pointers, numbers and lines. I checked the mirror and for a brief second I looked myself in the eye. Looking back at me was a very nervous and tense person.
I placed my hand on the gear shift, trying to feel it and get more familiar with this device. I positioned my feet carefully on the pedals. I repeated, for maybe a hundred time, the mantra which pedal is the break which is the accelerator and which is the clutch. I strapped the safety belt, which oddly felt like a bizarre imprisoning contraption.
I took deep breaths trying to calm myself. I assured myself that I could and would do it. That I would succeed and nothing bad can possibly happen.
The landscape before me was, thankfully, empty and inhabited. Technically I could do no harm to anyone so why did I feel this irrational fear? Who knows. I should just push the accelerator pedal and get the car going. The push I needed, to make that one last step came from the passenger’s seat. My friend, who was incidentally my first “driving instructor” looked at me calmly and said “You tackled much worse things than starting and driving a car so don’t act scared now and just do it”.
I could do nothing else but that. That feeling when the machine of steel and glass moves according to your wishes is priceless. I am glad that I made that first step. I am thankful for the push that made me do it.