Friday, 23 November 2007

Thoughts from a Car

Most days I like driving; not the actual mechanics of it but the opportunity it gives you to switch off. Yes I know that sounds dangerous, perhaps I don't mean it like that. I suppose I mean to say that all your energy goes into looking ahead and concentrating so hard that it becomes impossible to think about much else apart from what's ahead of you. Invariably it's white vans or some crazed person behind you trying to shunt you off the road.

Living in Leicestershire means not much public transport. In London I became a whizz at buses and underground trains and connections. That's how all London children grow up, judging each location and suburb by which buses go there or the location of the closest tube line. Nowadays I rely more on the car but I still get the odd train or bus. I listen to the radio alot and in the time honoured tradition I howl along at the top of my voice when a favourite song comes on. Today they played one of those camp 'plinky-plinky' 5os pop songs, 'She's Venus in blue jeans'. Hmm what a cultural mishmash thought I, keeping my eyes fixed on the road ahead. Then I had this thought. Ever since women have been wearing men's clothes their bodies have started looking like men's bodies. Okay, not everyone just the ones you get in the films and that, but still it's the ideal. You never saw Mae West in blue jeans, but after 1941 I doubt you ever saw the lady in her own flesh.

When I was a girl you had to wear skirts in church and I mean the 1980s-90s here. That's what the God of the Greek Orthodox religion said you had to wear, otherwise you were a man or something, an anomaly in the eyes of the lord. The church became a leggy fashion parade at Easter, all these young women swanning around with nyloned knees. You might as well have held a placard saying 'Hi, I'm marriage material for your son!' All the mothers looked smug. Oh yes, you weren't allowed to cross your legs when you were sitting down either. No I have no idea why either. I just dared to do it once when I was 19 and an old black-clothed widow had a go at me. It was apparently because it gave an opportunity to look up your crotch and that made you a whore...why not wear trousers? My theory was that they didn't want you to be comfortable, because then you might start doing your own thing. However, short skirts were okay, 1 or 2 inches above the knee was quite acceptable. When sitting, your thighs and knees had to be pressed together with an extremely strong imaginary glue. Actually I never went that short, I never really did much. I was one of these teenagers with this incredibly progressive ideas that you didn't dress for church as if you were going clubing.

Well what that has to do with driving down the A6 I don't know. But hey, maybe that's why driving is okay, you can do what you like with your legs, ballet like movements; slouches or merrily whorishly apart and only your steering wheel need know.

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