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Learn to Drive

“This morning, as I was driving to work, I mistook a big brown box on the side of the road for a deer. It was dark, and I swerved at the last second, and even though it wasn’t a deer, I still managed to nail that son of a bitch.”

Jarod Kintz

Driving into the Andes

I did it. I picked up a driving booklet and I’m reading it. In case you didn’t know, I’m 34 years old and I don’t have a drivers license. How does that happen you wonder? Isn’t learning to drive one of those important rights of passage and a necessary skill?

I guess part of my situation has to do with growing up in a household without a car. It never occurred to me that a car was something I could or should have. Then at 17, I left home and got into the grind of work and college and it never seemed to be in the budget. At some point, having gone my whole adult life without, I began to doubt that getting a license was really necessary. Add to that the fact that I’ve grown cautious as I’ve gotten older (feeling my mortality I guess) and the idea of learning to drive is frankly daunting. Especially those left hand turns and merging into traffic.┬áBut enough of why not.

First things first: I head over to the nearest ICBC office, get in line with all the other impatient people and eventually make my way to the counter where I ask for a driving booklet. Booklet in hand, I head home, make myself a cup of tea, get comfy and read the first few chapters, which are devoted entirely to what can go wrong and safety precautions: don’t text while driving, don’t feel afraid to ask your friends to buckle up, don’t speed just because you’re running late etc. This booklet is clearly written for impetuous 16 year olds; which I suppose makes sense.

But I’m doing this. I know that being able to drive will be a useful skill. It might even provide a thrilling measure of independence. So one step at a time. First I’ll read the booklet, then I’ll take a test. And who knows, perhaps one day I’ll have my license and we can take a little road trip and go wherever we please.

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