Is it ‘A’?
I love David my son. And my daughter. But this is about my son. I love him as a father would naturally love his son – and then some. But I love him more when I understand why I love him, when I experience a special reason for loving him. And such an understanding and reason occurred last Saturday en route to the Harbord Diggers¹ Club. He decided he wanted to join and last Saturday was the day. The traffic was busy but not heavy. I stopped behind a P-plater who was waiting at the difficult intersection of Howard Ave and the Strand, parallel to Dee Why beach. Another car was soon hot on my tail so three vehicles, may be more, had to wait for the road to clear. But waiting was not a virtue of the driver behind me. In what seemed like a nanno second, nothing more, the man’s patience reached its limit. His hand was on the horn trying to blast his way through at least with sound. I felt my ire rise and momentarily was concerned for the naturally cautious P-plater in front of me. It was, at that moment, impossible for him to move because of the flow of traffic in front of him. The thought came to my mind – the spanner under my car seat would be a perfect instrument to smash the headlights of the raucous vehicle behind me. Or perhaps the Stanley knife, in the glove box, might be sharp enough to slash his tyres. All these and several other ideas were flashing through my mind when David, in his wheel chair behind my seat, started singing at the same pitch as the offending horn. He often does that sort of thing. And then I heard him say – “Is that ‘A’?” And after a moment he came to the conclusion that it was a bit low for ‘A’. I suggested, after making a quick calculation, that it might be ‘F’. He suggested ‘G’. By this time the traffic had moved. The P-plater had gone and the horn stopped its blasting and I was on my way to Harbord Diggers. As I turned into The Strand I had that special insight – that is why I love my son. Handicapped physically but so developed and mature emotionally and spiritually! The car horn speaks not to him of road rage and impatience. Rather, it is a prompt to sing and then question the pitch and seek confirmation of his judgement. Is it any wonder that I love him and long for his insights about life. And I had the thought too that his maturity was no doubt born of his handicap. How many times before had he been “honked at” or encouraged subtley to move on. Or in some way been forced to realise that his presence was restrictive, interfering with progress. I have given him that impression myself, many times. But I suspect that because he has experienced these impatient promptings for 44 years, he wonders – “why should I get upset about a car horn?” Experience teaches, if one is wise enough to learn, that there are some creative, maybe even artistic, things you can do with the impatience of people. And damn it, on second thought, he may very well have been right. I think it was “G”. Return to stories menu