Looking back, it is definitely a bit comical….
During the worst part of my PTSD meltdown, I found it very hard to drive. Actually, I let other people drive me around as much as possible, however, I did have to drive more often than was probably advisable.
One day, while I was going eleven miles an hour over the posted speed limit of 60 miles per hours, I was stopped by a policeman. Obviously, if I had only been going ten miles an hour over the speed limit he wouldn’t have stopped me, but I guess the city needed money. (rolling eyes).
Anyway, after going to court, the judge said the ticket would be dropped and it would not show up on my driving record if I would attend a class at a driving school.
I agreed because how bad could driving school really be after all, right?
On the appointed Saturday, I drove to the ALL DAY class wondering how I would sit amongst strangers and listen while having flashbacks the whole time. When I walked into the place I was met with a strong smell of mold and everything felt dingy. The room where I would be suffering out my punishment had a few long tables in it, so I chose one that was situated between the door leading outside on the right and the door that led to a waiting room/office on the left..
Since I didn’t really have much choice except to stay, I sat down and was given the material for the class. Glancing at it for a second verified that this was going to be a very boring day .
I didn’t really want to touch the table because it was cracking, peeling and looked a bit dirty. I wondered if I could go all day without touching anything except for the papers and my bottle of Coke. Ahhhhh….Coke. I don’t drink sodas any more, but back then I was still drinking a couple a day to keep my body energized with caffeine.
I tried to cover the horrible looking spots on the table with my reading material, but there were just too many spots and not enough paper.
The chair that I inflicted on my tush was simply a very hard, cold metal chair. It really was going to be a long day.
A few of the chairs had cushions, but I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to sit on them. All of the cushions looked as if they had been left outside in the elements for months. I envisioned terrible things lurking on the cloth and waiting for their next victim.
The room wasn’t really decorated and so the things that did hang on the wall pertained to the driving experience. Yeah, signs… woohoo… so exciting….
Minutes passed and eventually turned into hours. I felt tortured while the instructor talked about his life and marriages instead of anything to do with driving. Occasionally he would notice my camera phone, but he had no idea I was clicking photos.
Eventually it was lunch and I drove down the street to a Wendy’s for a salad and drink.
It was delicious and quite satisfying.
Unfortunately lunchtime ended and I had to return to the nasty room of the driving school. It was so boring and I desperately sought some kind of visual stimulation to not only keep me awake, but to also help pass the time as the instructor droned on about his current wife.
As I was stretching once with my head tilted back, I saw something on the ceiling. What was on the ceiling?
Oh my gosh! Could it really be gum?!!
I was so distracted by the grossness of the gum on the ceiling that I didn’t realize the instructor was standing by my table. With my phone laying face down on the table, I clicked the camera button and it made a “camera” noise. The instructor looked at me.
Wait a minute!
I’m not in high school! What’s this guy going to do…take my phone and call my parents?
He kept talking, but as he was walking back to the front of the room he said, “Didn’t I tell everyone to put their cell phones away?”
I looked around the room to see some people moving their phones in a less conspicuous location. I moved my phone to my lap and that’s when the question entered my mind…
What lurked under the table that I had been sitting at for the last seven hours?
Should I dare click a picture to find out?
This is truly gross.
Right above my lap, there was already chewed gum stuck to the underside of the table top. The same table top that was covered with other various forms of grossness.
Ewwww….I almost couldn’t bear it.
I wondered how much gum was actually stuck under there, so I tilted the camera a little bit and…
I immediately felt like throwing up.
There were wads and wads of previously chewed gum under the table.
Just about then the driving video that was playing started talking about “distracted driving”, but I was so distracted by the grossness of my surroundings that I couldn’t even think about driving!
After tilting the camera in both directions and snapping photos, my worst fears were realized…
There was gum stuck everywhere.
I knew there were probably man-eating germs crawling all over my body now.
The exit sign was so close.
All I had to do was get up and walk out on the last hour of class to be free, but I sat there so I could have the speeding ticket dropped.
An hour later, I left the driving school and all the grossness the room had to offer behind, after obtaining the almost sacred piece of paper to excuse my speeding folly.
Moral of the Story: Don’t speed.
By the way: I have two pounds of gum. Does anybody want a wad…I mean piece of gum?