Power and Responsibility

A long time ago, I (gently) crashed a car. My sister Tammy was driving me home from college, and she stopped at a gas station to get a drink. She left the car running, and I waited in the passenger seat. After several minutes, since the car was pretty low on gas, I decided that I should turn off the car. I carefully turned the key, and the car smoothly, gracefully, began to roll backwards—right out of the parking lot, across the street, and into a stop sign. As the car drove itself, drunken teens in the parking lot whooped and laughed as I looked frantically for a STOP button. No such luck!

The police came, heard my terrified explanation, pushed the stop sign back into place, and left. Tammy was pretty irritated with me, but the car was unhurt, so we just went home.

Nine days ago, I got my driver’s license.

It would be a bit of a stretch to say that I have mastered driving a stick shift, but I have been sent on errands and returned triumphant; when Mr. Book comes to visit in October, although he thinks my father will be picking him up from the airport, in fact the boys and I will surprise him there. I haven’t taken the boys on any real adventures yet (although Joey did come with me to buy a pie for his granddad), but that is so possible now. Like, right now, I could stop writing this blog post and go drive a car. I wonder if this is how gun owners feel (only, uh, just the empowerment, minus the violence).

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