Driver’s Education


Tori Park

Students have been facing many struggles as they learn to drive.

Meiya Weeks, Contributing Writer

It is eight o’clock in the morning and the elderly man next to me frowns while I explain that the car’s pupils are extraordinarily dilated, a sure sign of intoxication of some sort, and therefore we need to get out and have the car do its best to drive in a straight line before getting back in. I express surprise that the car is already in this state at such an early hour, but determinedly force any sign of judgment out of my voice because she clearly needs love and support, and also my grandpa instilled within me the unassailable belief that happy hour is 24 hours looped over the span of 60 years until death. 

He uses his cane to stomp on the gas, leaving a trail of ant death and destruction.

The elderly man next to me tells me that the car has no pupils, those are called headlights, which aren’t supposed to be on anyways, it’s eight o’clock, turn them off, and why were they on before we got in the car? This feels like a lot of work for a card with a photo that I’ll hate and written permission for bystanders to harvest organs from my cold, but not too cold, still harvestable body. 

I’m learning to drive so I can take my mom to her Saturday morning Zumba class because my brother has soccer and now we need to buy a 25k second car which feels like a lot for a Zumba class. They have matinee classes but my mom says her friend from work refuses to exert herself after 12 PM because of “self care,” and you know how it is with mom’s friends from work. 

I sort of wish I wasn’t missing my grandpa’s funeral for this, but the elderly man sitting next to me had an afternoon orgy scheduled several months in advance and scheduling conflicts are the worst. I attempt to get out and make a run for it, but the door has been exceptionally child-proofed. Begrudgingly, I hear the click of the seatbelt and put my hands at ten and two because the thought of an airbag exploding my thumbs into my face doesn’t sound too bad anymore. 

I put the car into reverse, accelerating slowly. I halt, screeching from a sustained seven miles per hour pace to a dead stop in under 15 seconds, explaining that I fear I have just run over an ant colony and must get out and reassure myself of their well-being. The man tells me to get past the damn mailbox and put the damn thing into drive so he can get his damn 60 dollars and go and make love to his 20-year-old wife. I try to explain that I have just committed interspecies genocide and what if this goes on my permanent record and I don’t get approved for handgun purchases in blue states down the line. He uses his cane to stomp on the gas, leaving a trail of ant death and destruction, but it is okay because he grew up in a different century and has questionable morals. 

I decelerate near the street corner and solve the age-old trolley problem by swerving to hit five people after hitting the one in front of me. I would share this revelation with my philosophy professor except I just ran him over. I deftly parallel park and the elderly man sitting next to me hands me a license for non-commercial vehicles and commercial ones too. I jump for joy.

This piece also appears in our May 2022 print edition.