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S Curves
Her friends know that Rowena Singer is addicted to speed.

By Rowena Singer

Everyone thinks that I'm addicted to speed.

My friends joke about my aggressive driving. My husband often grips the "oh ****" handle in the passenger seat, particularly when I drive on the winding road that leads to our home in the Oakland hills. Perhaps it's because, halfway up this hill, I gun the engine.

That's when I face a section of the road shaped like two S-curves -- each twist about 50 feet in length. The 200 feet of back-to-back twists make it impossible to see ahead. This is where I should slow down, approach with caution, peer around blind corners looking out for the occasional deer gang or pedestrian Darwin Award contender.

But the luscious curves lure me like a siren. I anticipate my body swinging into each turn as my hands pivot around the steering wheel.

I blame my driving style on my dad. After all, he gave me my first driving lesson when I was five. I recall him turning to me that night to ask, "Want to take the wheel?" I nodded so much that I made myself dizzy.

We were a block from home. He stopped the car with the motor running, then lifted me onto his lap. I stretched my arms to reach my dad's hands on the steering wheel. We moved slowly forward until he dropped his hands and said, "Okay, keep it like that."

I missed his hands guiding mine. When I turned the wheel, my body swung with the motion of my arms making wide arcs left then right. We weaved down the street and almost scraped the sidewalk before we lurched toward the middle divide. All too soon, my first driver's training was over.

It would be the only driving lesson from my dad -- he died five years later. Perhaps it's his absence from my other "firsts" that make me want to relive the few that he'd been present for.

At the S-curves once again, I give in to my real addiction. I step on the gas pedal, grip the steering wheel and swing my arms left, right, left, then right again in complete arcs; the movements of a child "driving" in her toy car while her dad watches.

With a Perspective, I'm Rowena Singer.

Rowena Singer is a marketing consultant and aspiring writer.
 

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