A few years earlier, I had gone with my father on a long trip towards Clermont-Ferrand. Sometimes he let me take the wheel on the empty four-lane highways of the south-west, for long stretches, the moorland interrupted only by desolate sawmills and garages far off in the distance. I drove with my left hand. My mother didn’t know that I took the driver’s seat. It was irresponsible of him but the misdemeanor coupled with the thrill of the road gave me the impression of being an adult, for a few kilometres. My father made the most of it to roll some thin cigarettes that he held between his thumb, forefinger and middle finger. His tongue slipped twice over the narrow strip of glue. He came from a generation that did not stop every two hours to take a break, and often traveled at night. One day, I saw a comparative crash test between two cars, one from the 1990s and the other from today. My brother and his old Renault hadn’t stood a chance.