2 min read

#56: Needle

#56: Needle
Odd Spot - The Age - 28/02/2022

Jeremy flicks on the indicator, slowed, ensuring his eyes flit between all the mirrors and gently eases on the brake. He is getting exhausted with so much to remember. How the hell do people do this for hours at a time?

"Yeah, the clouds are gathering," says the driving instructor.

Jeremy dares to look up at the sky once he aligns the steering wheel with the small residential street. He’s lost the thread of the conversation.

"You don't mind?" the man with the clipboard asks.

"Not at all."

With cars parked on either gutter, the gap for a single car becomes all-consuming. Jeremy slows and watches each side mirror as he threads the car through the narrow gap. The width of the various cars varies, so Jeremy twists and turns the steering wheel, ensuring a clear gap between the paintwork of the mirrors.

The instructor's hand sweeps across, pointing to a driveway. Jeremy slams on the brakes, confused.

"Pull in there," he says.

After six lessons, Jeremy still can't recall the man's name. All he'll remember in the years to come is the refrain to keep left as practicable.

Jeremy looks up the driveway to the red brick house. Metal shutters shutter the windows, and the large wooden door impresses the impenetrable nature of the house.

The instructor points again, and Jeremy swivels the steering wheel and slowly needles the car into the driveway.

"Won't be a second," the man with the clipboard says before getting out. His crumpled shirt is half-untucked at the back.

Jeremy waits for the man to knock on the front door before asking why they are stopping.

"Oh, don't worry. You'll pass."

A small door, the kind you associate with a nondescript nightclub, opens. The door opens, and the man slips inside.

"He's just getting his clothes off the Hills Hoist. He'll be back in a few minutes. And he'll be happier, so don't worry. You'll get your driver's licence."