Today I am going to a meeting for Driver’s Education at the high school. The spaces inside that school occupied my life for four long years. There I searched for anything that might lead to a future not completely devoid of meaning.

Searched for meaning, and cut my hair out of sheer boredom.

The 80’s were an awesome place to be misunderstood and alone. Today, it gives me the super creeps every time I walk down senior hall. The benches and lockers are gone now, but the energy is still electric and suffocating all at once.

My tiny baby does not want to learn how to drive. And I totally get it. I was perfectly happy to let my mom and dad cart me around for another couple of years, myself. Getting a driver’s license was not symbolic to me in any way; it was just another grown-up responsibility I wanted to avoid for as long as possible. Kind of like buying a vacuum cleaner.

My dad taught me how to drive. Warren Dean is a big on being prepared—in belief and in practice.  He grew up a wildling, became a flamethrower in the Marine Corps, and built a life for his family by working hard everyday beside dangerous, high-voltage power lines. He taught me how to saddle a horse, read a map, make a piñata, use a chainsaw, hunt, tie a Running Bowline, find my way out of the mountains, build a fire, storytell, and how to parallel park.

For my 40th birthday he gave me a 5-gallon bucket full of long-term storable food. Let’s just say when zombies start eating brains, he’s the guy you want on your team.

I wasn’t really sure why he was so fired-up for me to get my driver’s license. Because we lived so far out, or to finally have an in house designated driver, I really didn’t know?

Often during the 30-minute drive home he would ask, “Do you want to drive?”

“Nah, I’m good,” I would say.

This sort of exchange went on for a long time—clearly longer than was normal or acceptable in my dad’s opinion, because one day he simply stopped the car in the middle of the isolated, gravel road.

“Get out. You’re driving home.” He said.

Being the highly intuitive person that I am, I could tell that this was more of a non-negotiable demand, rather than a request.

So I got out of the car, walked around to the driver’s side, got in, and drove home.

And that’s how I learned to drive.


The brilliant image, "From the Dashboard of a Car" is by Thomas Hawk, via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.