Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Driven to Distraction

 I grip the steering wheel tightly, my knuckles white against the black leather, my fingers numb with the strain. My arms are extended straight out in front of me. Rigid and tense. I flex my fingers to try and release some doesn't help. I feel angry and almost aggressive.

The noise inside the car is diabolical. Two children sit in the back arguing loudly. They shout, yell and scream at each other. Little fists are clenched. Tears flow freely.
    The little one is struggling against her car seat. She wriggles and squirms. Short, chubby legs fly kick out with apparent frustration while she lets out a continuous high-pitched and piteous wail.

The eldest one ignores them all; I wish I could share in his detachment of the whole scene.

The scenery that flashes past on our journey is at a complete contrast to the chaotic scene within the car. The countryside is clean and vibrant with rolling hills and pretty houses dotted here and there. The sky is clear, cloudless and the brightest shade of blue. The day outside looks tranquil, peaceful. My mood is at odds with it.
As I finally pull into the school car park I am relieved but also immediately self conscious. I have had no time to take care with my appearance. My jeans are wrinkled, my jumper covered in fluff - the white showing clearly against the black. I push my messy blonde hair off my face, sunglasses will fulfil the purpose of taming my shaggy mop. My face is devoid of any make up. I secretly wish I had found the opportunity to put on a tiny slither of lipstick, maybe a flick of mascara.

I settle the children, the older ones march off to their respective classrooms. I deliver my Preppy to his teacher.

On the way back to the car I hold the littlest one by the hand. She chatters endlessly and I calmly listen to the rise and fall of her voice. We walk slowly and I finally feel myself start to relax. I breathe deeply and inhale the fresh country air - it is soothing and sweet. As I walk my shoulders loosen, the tension leaves my body.

I hum softly under my breath. Finally I feel at peace with the world.

Write On Wednesdays
Post script; After having dropped the children at school I raced home to write this post, quickly typing it out before my memory evaded me completely!


  1. A beautiful post that I can most definitely relate to. That was really well written. Glad to have found you. :D

  2. Yep, good post but I think the point was to sit where you are writing and flow forth from that?

    These exercises were drilled into me constantly in my writing course, lol. Almost sat waiting for a wooden spoon across my knuckles if I didn't follow instructions.


  3. @ MM -Yes, I obviously had a different interpretation to everyone else, but that is the beauty of writing - there is no right or wrong. If you read my post script I actually "wrote" this in my head and then raced home to "put pen to paper" or rather my fingers to the keyboard.

    @ Melissa - Thank you for your lovely comment it really made my day.

  4. Not a dig, just trying to clarify. Sorry, missed the bottom comment. It is hard to convey tone in a comment.

    Am trying to treat this like an irl group, where these things would be pointed out.MM.

  5. Oh no, I certainly didn't take it as a dig. I have my "L" plate on and I take all comments on board. Thanks for dropping by to comment, I found your post beautiful by the way.

  6. The bit about your mood being at odds with the weather gives us a good insight. I "write" in my head a lot too, most of my ideas come to me while I am washing the dishes for whatever reason. I think that interpreting these exercises indiviudally is important and that it will just happen naturally as we all will read and write in our own individual ways. MM makes an interesting point here: about tone being hard to convey in a comment and I do want this to be as much like a writers group irl as possible so we may all take a few weeks to work out the kinks and get into a groove about what we want and expect from the group. Constructive criticism is important for all of us because yes, we all have our L plates on! Thanks for joining in Lene - will look foward to getting to know you more! Gill xo

  7. A great piece of writing and you pretty much described my every morning too! It's amazing how such a stressful occurrence can seem so poetic when written well. LOL thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Carlene, I did leave a comment last night but I don't know why it's disappeared. I enjoyed this piece, you've drawn a nice comparison between the chaos inside the car and the tranquility outside.
    Lovely to meet you :)

  9. @ Gill, Thanks so much for understanding what I was trying to convey. I was a bit worried I had completely stuffed up the whole excercise! I think some constuctive critisim is exactly what I need to lift the tone of my writing and my understanding of the subject matter. I love that you also write in your head, sometimes I wonder if I'm a bit wacky for doing so!

    @ Suzi, Thanks! Coming home to write down the whole stressful incident made me feel a lot better and I did feel it gave an insight into what I'm like. I can go from being very stressed to completely calm again in a matter of minutes!

    @ therhythmmethod, It was probably blogger having a tantrum again! Thanks so much, I've really enjoyed reading what everyone has written. I found it a really enjoyable excercise. Am really looking forward to next week!

  10. I loved your piece! I enjoyed the fact that it was a bit different to some of the others I've read so far, it was refreshing and showed creativity. You obviously felt that the situation in the car at the time would paint an insightful picture of you. I agree with therhythymmethod, especially liked the seperation you made between the inside of the car and outside.

  11. @ redfootydragon - Oh thank you! I am so pleased that you understood completely the message I was trying to convey! At that moment I really felt like it was the real me and a situation that I find myself in a lot at the kind of sums up my life in a few short paragraphs. Thank you, thank you, for your comment!

  12. I know the scenario so well! Though our drive to school doesn't seem to be anywhere near as long or as scenic. Love how you describe the use of sunglasses - I do the same.


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