To travel by road is an experience that I have always enjoyed. My father was an excellent driver, I learnt from him. Looking at him drive was fantastic. Mostly when we travelled on vacations, departing from Mexico City at 3:00 am and arriving to Yucatan at 10:00 pm, stopping just to fuel the car and let six girls –from one to twelve years old– visit the bathroom.
Seeing my father drive, his dark skinned hands, strong and firm over the car was like taking his driving skills. I used to imagine that I was the driver; I felt the pleasure of speed changing, putting the turn signals to pass and the speed to take the lead in the opposite lane and to get back on track with the satisfaction of leaving the “slow car” behind.
There were so many girls, that we did not fit in the car; sometimes he drove a blue Opel, in others it was a brown Malibu that later became a green beetle car. I insisted on sitting in box that was in between the two front seats, placing my little legs on the sides, left leg touching my dad, the right touching my mom.
To imagine my size in these dimensions makes me think that I was really small and rickety; but that was not important I steel felt like the main co-pilot, I was responsible to give, first to my dad and then to my sisters, food and water –pickle sandwiches prepared by my mom– since we left home.
Although sleep overcame me many times, I was trying to stay awake all the time to accompany my dad. I remember how suddenly between dreams Javier Solis began to sing or Glen Miller’s Orchestra began to play In the mood.
The nights that I could beat the dream, I could not stop looking out of the corner of my eyes how my dad moved the fingers of his left hand. It was a sign of his thinking. When we talked he taught how accurate and cautiously drive the car.
It is clear, that when you are driving in the road, you could see all kinds of car models, but it was more fascinating to watch tanker trucks and double trailer trailers sway. It was my dad initiative to enlist me in the habit of keeping a tally of their tires. But we always passed so quickly, I could not finish counting, but it was the perfect motivation to keep me alert.
When trailers were a single trailer, it was not so difficult to make a tally: one-two, three-four, five… ten tires. Practice and age made me good at counting fluently the thirty- four wheels that a double trailer brings, sometimes I included the two that it has as replacement tires.
Driving a trailer has being always a craving. I find truly fascinating its size, strength, power, and the great ability it takes to drive it. I do not know why, but in my mind two scenes are recreated: my memories of the past on the road admiring the magnificence and counting the wheels … and a picture of the future where I smile at my eighty years old sitting in the driver’s seat, enjoying how feels to drive a trailer.