Jim Furlong: Hands on the Wheel

We have all, at one time or another, walked into a room like a kitchen or a living room and wondered why we came in there. Let me tell you a story and then ask you a question.   

Some weeks ago I left my home in Paradise to go in to NTV to do some editing work. It was about 8:30 in the morning and on that particular day I was running something through my mind related to the editing I was to do.  Usually I travel via Topsail Road and the Outer Ring Road. This day I drove via the Cross-town arterial road to down-town St. John’s. 

That is a change in routine which may have something to do with all of this. The editing problem occupied my thoughts; more than I thought. I didn’t have the radio in the car on. Presumably I drove correctly and stopped at the proper lights and stop signs and changed lanes correctly. Eventually I stopped and put my car in “park”.  You may be wondering when this story gets interesting. Well, here it is. 

My Subconscious Self

When I stopped and looked around at what I thought was my destination I found I wasn’t at NTV at all. In fact, I was parked in front of St. Bonaventure’s School and surrounded by other cars driven by parents dropping off their children for the school day. I went to St. Bon’s, my dad went to St. Bon’s and my three boys all went to St. Bon’s. I drove them to school every morning. None of those boys have been to that school in A DECADE AND A HALF, but that is where I drove my car. 

A simple explanation is to say that I was absent minded, but there are a number of questions begged by the experience. To wit; who was driving the car? The easy answer is that it was some part of my subconscious self, but that asks more questions. I wonder what kind of driver I was and if that driver was better than my conscious self at the wheel. Was I perfect when all the rules of the road were in my brain and just summoned without thought? I don’t know. 

I do have a sense that I arrived at the school after crossing up from downtown across LeMarchant Road and then up Prince of Wales Street. It’s kind of a back street route that, being “a corner boy”, I always used. 

The human mind is complex, and things like “reality” aren’t always straight forward. There is much to consider, but I am left with what I think is an important question and that is;

Who was driving and is he a better driver than me and where has he gone?  Also, if all of this is subconscious; how do I know the radio wasn’t on? 

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