school bus


The inability to drive an automobile with a clutch.


Limited skills in moving a vehicle in reverse and or parallel parking.


Don't know where the fuck you are.


All of the above.

Dysnavigatoria is an obscure disorder.  That is why people are unsympathetic toward it's victims. They don't even know it exists. With a little bit of knowledge, a lot of horn blaring, rolling down of windows and the spewing of ugly language could be avoided. You see, I myself, suffer from dysnavigatoria and I have seen the middle finger up close and personal. Now, why would someone diagnosed with dysnavigatoria ever even consider being a school bus driver? Denial?  Delusional?  Insane? I like to call it youth. But the truth of the matter is, it was all about the money. I needed a job. And I had a six month old little guy who I adored. millie & Marques I just wanted to be a stay at home mom without babysitting a half dozen other children, who I did not find to be nearly as cute as my Marques. Plus, I've always had the luxury of believing my own lies. And since the disorder was and still is so widely unknown, there were and still are, no laws against a dysnavigatoria-typed person, driving a bus. How does one even know that one has dysnavigatoria, you ask. Well, let's start with the first symptom listed above, clutchititus. How does one know that one is not able to drive with a clutch?  One does not, unless one tries. I was quite young when I experienced my first onset of Clutchitis.  I was at the wheel and my boyfriend Jason was sitting next to me and we ended up in a heated argument and then not speaking to one another, all due to some grinding that was going on underneath the hood of his new convertible. My second brush with Clutchititus was a year later. This time I was with my husband, Jason. He was giving me a lesson on how to drive an old pick up truck with a three speed on the column, on a dusty Montana road. I walked home. A few years later I ruined my friend's husband's car, trying to pick up some disposable diapers for my friend, at the neighborhood convenient store. She was all like, "Take my car." I said, "No. I can walk." She said, "Really, just take my car." I said, "Well, but, I can't really drive a clutch." She said, "You just do this, this and this." I sighed, "Okay." Well. I did do that, that and that, while shifting the mother into first gear or perhaps it was not first gear. Pretty soon there was a stinky, cloud of smoke coming from under the hood. So I got out and hoofed it back to the house, carrying her economy sized bag of diapers. That car had to be towed to the shop. A clutch can burn up. And then there was that day that I ruined Sven's piece of shit, car. I TOLD him that I could not drive a clutch. "Just do this, this and this," he said. They all say the same thing. If you have dysnavigatoria, those words mean nothing. But that was the day that I gave in and I recognized that I did indeed have clutchitius. The second symptom, para-reversaphobia was made clear to me at sixteen. When I got my driver's license, the kind soul who checked off the pass box on the form, said to me, "I would suggest that you never parallel park." And as far as not being able drive in reverse, I am proud to say that this is my least severe navigatoria symptom. Put it this way. I can back a car up, better than my mom can. The third symptom, lost, is really nothing more than a state of mind. I had no idea that I didn't have a sense of direction when I was a kid.  But then, I never left the block. I did notice some early warning signs as a teenager. When shopping at the mall I would frequently walk out of a store and head back in the same direction that I'd just come from, instead of going to the next store in line.  And in high school I often thought that I was in the B wing when in reality I was in the A wing.  In my defense, they were mirror images. On the upside of losing my bearings every now and then, my sons and I have seen every road, every trail and every back alley in the southern portion of our state, just trying to get home from little league baseball games. Southern Wisconsin is actually quite pretty.  Also, most of the time Marques and Rene didn't have a clue that we were going in circles, except for those rare occasions that I started to cry. By the age of twenty-four I was well aware of the severity of my disorder, but when I saw the add in the paper that said, BUS DRIVERS NEEDED, I circled the sucker and then handed out suckers to all the rug rats that were running around in my living room. My mother and my sister Louisa's reaction were appalling. "Mille, you can't be a bus driver.  You and all those kids will get lost." "No we won't," I said.  "I'll have my own bus route that I'll be driving every day, twice. I won't get lost as long as I know where I'm going." They looked at each other. "And," I said.  "besides that, I can take Marques with me on the bus." "WHAT?" "Yeah, I talked to them on the phone and they said I can bring him with." I have to say, I didn't much care for their attitudes. The following day, Marques and I drove to the town that was in need of bus drivers.  That's correct.  The job was twenty minutes away, under perfectly, perfect driving conditions. Denial? Delusional? Insane? Possibly. I walked into the school bus station with my baby and we made a wonderful first impression. And then after filling out a bunch of forms the man says, "Well, should we take her out for a spin?" Crap.  He was expecting me to drive the thing. "Sure," I said. We got inside the ginormous yellow bus and I set Marques in his infant seat on the floor. "Take a seat," the man says pointing at the driver's chair. AHHHHHH! FUCK!!!! "Um," I said, staring at the lever.  "Is this thing a clutch?" "Yeah, is that a problem?" he says. "Oh no, no problem.  It's just that I've never driven a clutch. But, I'm sure I can learn." That would be Millie Noe at her best.  Master of bullshit. A bus driving con. Well, guess what?  The man showed me the, this, this and this. And then he had me start the beast up. We practiced switching gears in the parking lot for a few minutes and then he says, "Why don't you take it for a drive and get used to the feel of it." And then he gets off the bus. SHIT. Marques looked at me with those giant eyes of his and we drove out of the lot and we took a right. It was all quite exciting.  If only mom and Louisa could see me now, I thought. I must have looked like a talking peanut-head, sitting way up there in that driver's seat. "This is going to be so much fun, Marques.  Just think, you and me, every morning and every afternoon on the bus. And you are going to have all kinds of new friends, because the kids are going to love you.  They'll probably want to hold you and everything." I put on my blinker and we took a left.  It was a very pretty day.  And we were on a very pretty road. After about ten minutes I said, "Marques, I think we should head back to the station." But unfortunately the man had never mentioned reverse and we kept getting further and further from our starting point. Marques began to squirm.  He was getting sick of being in that infant seat. "Don't worry baby.  Mama's going to take us back to that station, just as soon as mama figures out where the fuck that station is." We took the next left because there was a T in the road.  You see intersections of any kind are scarce out on those beautiful country roads. Mama's deodorant quit working. We'd been driving away in the black hole for more than a half an hour with no signs of any way out. And then, there was a sign. It was a billboard that said, Smokey Hollow Campground, take next left. EUREKA. Now, I did not know where Smokey Hollow Campground was, but I'd at least heard of it.  We were still in Wisconsin. We took the left. And then we drove on the new road for a couple more  days. Marques was crying. Mama was crying. And then it happened. A sign sprang up out of nowhere that said, interstate ahead. Holy balls.  That was exciting news. I knew all about the interstate. I'd taken it to get to the bus station to begin with. I had a forty-sixty chance of choosing the right direction. Was it east or was it west?  I don't remember which one I picked but we got on the ramp. "It's okay baby.  Don't cry." Then I sang, "Jeepers, creepers, where'd you get those peepers? Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those eyes," to the only living human being who appreciated my singing. Wow, there wasn't a lot of gas in our tank. And then I saw the best road sign ever. "Hang in there baby doll.  We only have twenty miles to go. We are headed to the station." Marques was not thrilled with the excellent news.  He was pissed off about being strapped into that infant seat and he didn't smell the best. Surely we had enough gas in our tank. Heads spun around like they were the lead role in the Exorcist, as cars passed the yellow bus with the crying, singing. peanut-head, at the helm. If it had been the era of cellphones, there would have been some calls in to the police department reporting a kid and stolen a school bus. And when Marques and I finally pulled into the bus station, that man came running out. He was a little steamed, because he actually thought that we had stolen his bus. Why would anybody steal a school bus? I explained that I just didn't know how to back the thing up and that I'd lost my bearings and that it was on empty. Marques and I went home where I proceeded to throw away his non-disposable diaper and his outfit. And then I sat him in the popcorn bowl and lathered him up. mark in bowl The next day the man showed Marques and I how to use reverse and how to use the mirrors. It's all in the mirrors. We practiced putting on the flashers and the stop signs that pop out of a school bus, when picking up and dropping off kids. "Remember," he said,  "Count the children as they exit the bus and do not pull your stop sign in or turn your flashers off until you've counted them all safely off of the road. And of course we worked on stopping before crossing any pretend railroad tracks, opening the door and listening for a train. Louisa came along for the ride one day and she was quite impressed with my driving skills. But of course every time Marques and I took the bus out after that first horrifying trip, we always went to the same deserted country road that we'd discovered. And there I was able to do a Y turn that resembled a W. We owned that road. Things were looking up. School was only three weeks away. Then the man said that I was ready to take the test. "Test? There 's a test?"

"Well, you do have to get a bus driver license."

eyes And then he told me to give the DMV a call and set up an appointment.  And then I should let him know when the appointment was, so that he could be there when I dropped by the bus station to pick up my bus, to drive it into the CITY, to take the test.

"Am I going to have to parallel park?"

And that there was the last encounter that Marques and I had with that man and that bus station.

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