Do you remember the first time you really experienced that sense of freedom? Like where you’re in control, you make the call, you’re the boss. It was January 16, 2008 the day I felt the freedom and power of being a legal driver. I recall pulling in the DMV downtown just basking in the glory of knowing I was now a licensed driver. Once I parked and got out of the car I walked over to where my dad where had been waiting while I was taking the test to see how I did. I simply just said, “Come sign this bad boy and get on out of here because it’s just me and the road now and there’s no stopping us”.
It took many hours of running through the course with my brother to perfect my skills. I remember the hate I had for a part of driving that was considered a fine art: parallel parking. It probably took at least 100 tries before I got the concept of the “shimmy” maneuver it took to get the car in the spot. Thankfully for me and little did I know, my father was to surprise me with a little Mercedes SLK 230 (two door sports car) prior to the test, so therefore parallel parking was now a joke because of how small the car was.
I woke up the day of the test just thinking to myself how embarrassing it would I be if I failed this test and didn’t get my license. Or even how much guilt would I feel for all the hard hours of teaching my brother and father put in to make me the driver that I am. So, no matter what I had to pass first try or I would have been considered a failure. I made sure that I ate the breakfast of a champion that day; I had a glass of orange juice, pancakes, eggs, and sausage patties, oh was it amazing. Then I took a nice long hot shower while listening to my serene god father of music Jimi Hendrix; this was to relax my nerves.
Next, was the most nervous part of the entire day; it was the car ride down there and the moment of truth. The so scary moment for me was the selection of the police officer who was to ride along with me. It had to be my day because the man I rode with, Officer Tom, was the nicest of them all. As soon as we filled out the paper work and we walked out to my new car (which he liked a lot, I think that helped), we got in, sat down, put our seat belts on and the test began. We ran through standard procedures of checking the lights, signs, mirrors, and then we did the road test. I was so antsy the whole time because I remember him every two minutes or so playing with my audio player, the air control, and my center console. I was sitting there thinking what’s this guy doing? But I can’t respond because I want to guarantee my success so I didn’t.
Then it all came to and end with that one moment I heard these words, “Are you ready?” I responded, “Ready for what sir?”
He responded, “To drive?”
Confidently I replied, “Yes sir I am.”
Officer, “Ok then your all set son you’re a legal driver, your good to go, be safe!”
There it was, simply the greatest sense of freedom I had as a teen; I had gained the ability to drive.