She'd seen some sixty summers and now sat waiting - for the doctor. Across the room, a good-looking
confident young man, hardly 20 she guessed. He was flicking through a motor magazine.
"You're into fast cars?" She chanced he'd respond.
"Oh yeh," he said, looking up. "The faster the better. You can get there quicker
if it's fast. My Ford's really good. Lonnie in about an hour and 45. It'll overtake just about anything
and there's plenty of good straights on the Midland Highway. I usually take my girlfriend. We love the
"And you're not worried about driving too fast? Getting caught? Accidents, you know?"
"Oh no. Not if you're careful. I know what I can do. I can always cut in and find
a space. It's the real slow drivers who're the biggest problems on the road. You know, the ones who insist
in pootling along at 20K in an 80 zone and you can't overtake. I usually give 'em a toot when I get past."
"You been driving long?" she said.
"Nearly two years. How about you?"
She took a breath and said: "Well I passed my test in 1962. In those days you only had to drive down
the main street, it was in the country, and if you could turn round at the end and signal before you
did the local policeman passed you. But, of course, I did a lot more driving after that before I thought
I was good enough. My father taught me a lot. He said it was important to show respect to other drivers
and always obey the law and to expect that other people would sometimes make mistakes and so would I but
to try not to make too many. Did they teach you some of those things?"
"I guess. You ever had an accident?" he asked.
"No," she said. "Perhaps I've been lucky or just careful. How about you?"
"Well, this is my second car. I pranged the first one. Maybe I need to be more careful."
The receptionist called her name. She stood up. "Take two hours to Launceston," she said.