The driver is on his back in a bed in a hotel on the outskirts of Ljubljana, in a room smelling of cold cigarette smoke, trying to find a comfortable position. He moves very gingerly because his lumbar pain has flared up from driving a Mercedes with diplomatic plates for four hours to deliver two dancers, and then from carrying a bunch of heavy stuff.
Unfortunately, there is no comfortable position.
He does not turn the TV on.
He stares at the ceiling and wonders what the engine light meant, the one that looks like an engine and was on for an hour on the way down.
He is glad he is not Jason Statham, because right about now the shooting would start.
He needs a new prescription for his glasses. They are trifocals, and are off just the right amount that they make him see ghosts when he wears them. He sees ghosts at breakfast a lot before his family gets up.
He sees his father’s ghost in the mirror, grinning at him as if to say, In fact the bad back is my ghost, kiddo.
The next day he drops the shampoo bottle in the shower and leaves it there. He has already washed his hair, and if he bends over to get it he will never straighten back out.
Breakfast is not so fine at this particular hotel. Too many eggs, not enough fruit, and the coffee is not so good.
On the drive back, the engine light does not go on. He is thankful for that. The driver, who is not Jason Statham, is somewhat vexed by the circumstance that the steering wheel is in such a position that it blocks his view of the speedometer. He has to bend his head at a strange angle to see how fast he is driving. Normally the GPS device would tell him roughly how fast he was going, but the battery is low and the cigarette lighter in this particular car does not seem to put out a charge.
He eventually figures out the cruise control and uses that for a while, but gets tired of it because vehicles keep pulling out in front of him and requiring him to change his speed and so on.
At the end of his trip, he is parking the car and the transmission goes *CLUNK* right when he’s angling it into a driveway. He sits there for a minute, at a 45-degree angle, blocking a sidewalk but fortunately not the street, making stirring motions with the gear-shift lever and trying to figure out exactly what just happened and as it dawns on him, thanking the powers that be that this happened here and not on some road in Slovenia or elsewhere.
Some henchmen are sent over and they help him push the car into a proper parking position.
He helps push despite his back. The driver has that much Jason Statham in him.
Then he goes home and looks for useful pills, but he’s out of them.