Keep foot on brake. Press power. Release parking brake. Check mirrors – everything is lined up correctly. Flick turn signals to make sure they’re working. Lights? On. Off. Ready.
I’m long past fifteen, heading off to college in a matter of days. I’ve renewed my driving permit twice. As of yesterday, I did not have my license.
This occasionally made me the topic of jokes among my friends. It is ridiculous, honestly, for a non-city kid my age not to have a license. I could drive perfectly well. I’d just never taken the test. I didn’t feel like I needed to, and to be honest, I don’t like driving much at all.
I don’t like the fact that I’m at the wheel of a very heavy piece of metal and electronics with considerable destructive force behind it. One sneeze, one twitch, and I could smear someone into a bloody paste on the sidewalk. A messed up turn and I could be the one spread across the road. This does not appeal to me.
It doesn’t help that the drivers I share the road with aren’t always on the top of their game. My life has metaphorically flashed before my eyes a few times thanks to some idiot forgetting he didn’t have the right of way. Stop signs say STOP for a reason, dear, and it’s not because it’s the end of a telegram sentence.
Despite my reservations, I went to take my driving test yesterday. I sat, stiff with nerves, as the instructor put me through my paces. I fumbled through a parallel parking attempt where I backed too steeply. And in the end, I passed – narrowly, but a pass all the same.
I now have my driver’s license – one more marker of adulthood that I’d just as soon be without. What’s next? Taxes?