"No, Mary, you may not play La Cucaracha at full volume indoors." "No Mary, you may not flash your headlights at random pedestrians or police officers." "No Mary, you may not honk your horns in the parking lot while I am away." Uhrr, all these instructions I've had to make. I know what the actual problem is, well actually it's not a problem, but she thinks it is. "Mary, I already told you, we're going on a nice long drive, now stop honking at pedestrians." And so it was for most of today.

I got home, made a PB sandwich (there's not much to go wrong with two ingredients) and started eating it when the siren sounded. I said oh no what has Mary done now. A police officer was there at the garage wondering why the car was flashing him. I gritted my teeth and said I'm very sorry, I must have accidentally pressed the remote lock/unlock buttons on my car remote. Then Mary honked, and the police officer said is there something wrong with your car, miss? I said yes. Oh, no! No, nothing wrong. I'm just a bit trigger-happy. "Trigger happy?" Oh dear. That was the wrong phrase to give to a police officer. "I mean button happy. I'm happy, ha ha. All good, sorry to be a bother." "Okay miss, as long as your car is all fine." I rolled down the garage door. "Mary," I said, "this has got to end." "What has?" I stared at her unimpressed, or at least I tried to look unimpressed. "You know what. This honking and carrying on." "But I want to drive, Livi!" "I know you do, but I have already said, I won't let you out onto the public roads by yourself, you might get hurt!" "I won't get hurt!" "You don't know that. And besides, there's probably all kinds of legalities and loopholes, and well it's too much work." "But you can call Dylan, right?" "No, I won't call Dylan, not if you're going to go behind my back and ask if he can do illegal modifications." "No thruster-packs?" "No." "No turbochargers?" "No." "No driving modifications?" "Look Mary," I said, "you mean a lot to me, and I don't want you getting hurt. Sometimes it's for the best, these things. And I'll always take you out driving."

But as I sat back down at the table, I wondered to myself, is it her I'm really afraid for? Nope, it's the pedestrians, and the rest of the city.

I turned back to my PB and added some J, because you can never go wrong with too many consonants, and the DL called. I said hi DL, it's OP. I'm having a PBJ." It was the D who first spoke, which was unusual. He seemed a bit sheepish, so I said WHAT UP? and then proceeded to list the sky, my roof, and the many constellations that litter the cosmos. He said hey Livi, I have a proposal for you, just something I've been thinking about for a while now, and kind of was figuring out how to do. What would you think if I took Mary's drive belt and hooked it up to her own system, like made her navigation system part of the mechanics? I staggered. I said D, have you been talking to Mary about this? He didn't answer. I was at first pretty angry with him, although I tried not to show it. He said it's alright if you don't want to, I completely understand, it's just an idea I had that I thought would make a cool project, and besides it wouldn't be much of an expense. I might even be able to cover most the costs? Although I totally understand if not. I may have accidentally said something about it to Mary. I sighed through my teeth. D, I said, Mary has been nothing but a pain on account of wanting to drive lately. I understand you're close friends and all, and I like that, but can you please not go putting any of these crazy ideas into her head? She's hard enough to take care of without her being able to drive. That thought terrifies me. The D apologized, and I apologized too, saying I should not have been so harsh, but it was my annoyance for the week. In truth, I was thinking more of my own annoyance than considering what he was thinking. Maybe M. I think of myself too much. But M can't drive, that would be crazy. I mean Mary. Drive.


- Responsible Caregiver.