The Canadian years, 57, the test

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Friday 16 January 20:12


The test

‘Again,’ I told my brother, 'I just do not want to worsen the problems.’ My brother let the Mustang whoosh along the road. We were on our way to the center where I could take my driver’s test. ‘We will ask Dad to come outside and discuss his ‘touching and such’, in the garden. He will not make a scene in public and the point is that he knows that we know. I do not want such unpleasant matters  discussed indoors, where Mom could over  hear us. ‘You will not discuss anything,’ said my brother, ‘and we will have to wait until aunt Jet and uncle Henk are gone again. I do not want to shame us all in a development that we can not control. Those three weeks will pass and then I'll discuss it with him, anyway. Hopefully I’ve landed my job in Edmonton by then and it's something between me and him about his daughter and then I’ll leave the house. You should always give a man a chance, an escape which is honorable. Is he difficult again with her, than we will duscuss it with him and cause him severe embarrassment.’

There was something in it, a two step solution.’Okay agreed,’ I said ,’ but we will not leave him alone with her anymore, if he goes to the kitchen, one of us instantly goes to the kitchen as well.’  ‘That's a good plan,’ my brother said, and he gave some more gas.’ You know,’ I said thoughtfully as we drove into Bowness.’ I believe that dad is going insane.’ ‘I think Dad is a kind of schizophrenic’ replied my brother. ‘As in the story of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide.’ I had never considered that. ‘He has a split personality. He is different at work than at home. I read a book about it’.’ Oh,’ I said surprised? ‘Yes,’ my brother said, ‘it was about a schizophrenic cowboy, who was friendly with Indians but killed them in unguarded moments’ ‘No. Hey,’ I thought, ‘not a cowboy book again.’ Nevertheless, I realized that the parallel with the killing Indian cowboy could well be true. I was still musing over it when the car came to a halt.

‘Hey’, I said,’ we were going to go to the ‘department of highways?’ We had stopped at his work. ‘You’ll go there,’ my brother replied, ‘but I have to work’. ‘You take the car and drive to the test center, and when you're done, you take it back here again. Then by bus to your school.’ Gosh, that was something I was allowed by him to drive his mustang independently to the test center. I walked over and sat down in the driver's seat. ‘All the best,’ my brother said with a wide grin, ‘watch my words, you're going to pass'!! He closed the door and turned and started to walk away.’ Thank you for everything’ I said and drove the Mustang away carefully.

The inscription on the sign at the big car park was clear. 'department of highways' it read. A lonely office was sat in the middle of the parking field. I drove there and parked the car near the door, with the word reception over it. The early hour made it chilly, the sun had yet to rise above the valley, which was formed by the surrounding mountains and the light wind had just no frost in it. I walked to the office and knocked at the door and walked straight in. Behind a long desk sat a man with a cup of coffee reading the newspaper lying open on a few worksheets. ‘Good morning,’ I saluted him and waited for what was about to happen. ‘Top of the morning to you,’ the man saluted back, ‘the early bird catches the worm,’ and he looked up from his newspaper.


‘What can I do for you boy?’ ‘I want to take my test, sir,’ I said. ‘Have you brought a car,’ the man asked? ‘Yes sir,’ I said, it costs nothing to be polite, my mother always told us. He walked to the window with his mug in his hands. ‘Nice car,’ he said. ‘That's my brother’s, sir,’I replied. The man took a sip of coffee and sighed deeply,’it's still chilly outside boy. Come and stand here beside me.’ He pointed to two poles. ‘See those poles drive there, park in between them. If that goes well, then you drive around the field on the outside of the marker and then you park the car here.’ He waved me away with his hand. I saw him standing at the window and drove off slowly with deep concentration. At the poles, I took one of the poles as a fixed point in my mirror and turned sharply inward. The car was parked neatly, if I say so myself. I saw him waving away that I could continue. I put my indicator signal on and left the parking bay and began to drive slowly around the large field.

When I entered the man sat hunched over his newspaper. He took the last sip of coffee and walked forward.’ You've done well, son, you've passed.’ He laughed, ‘may I have your learner’s license, please? I gave it to him. He took it and put a stamp by the "L", which meant learner and changed that to a "D"  from drive. He spoke aloud to himself,’ now I’ll take over the data for the registration and then we're done. So young man, drive carefully and enjoy the Queen's roads’. When I was almost at the door, he called me back. ‘Hey you there’, he said, ‘do you think you would ever want to ride a motorcycle?’ ‘I think so, sir’, I replied.’Come back then’ ordered the man. ‘That's another stamp,’ he laughed.’I will register that as well, have a nice day.’’ Thank you,’ I said, but the examiner of the department of highways was already lost in his newspaper.

My brother had his car back within 15 minutes ago and I was two licenses richer. Moments later I was sitting in the bus to school, where I arrived only a little too late.

San Daniel 2015

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