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Drivers Ed

Drivers Ed

"CAN I PASS THE TRUCK?"

"CAN I PASS THE TRUCK?"

There were four of us in the car, including my cousin. I’m not sure why schools are obsessed with doing things in alphabetical order. I think my cousin would've been happy to escape me or at least avoid being stuck in a car with me as I learned to drive.

We’d gone up to Guthrie that morning. The three of us taking turns as the driving instructor, a laid back coach, sat in the passenger seat armed with clipboard and pen.

The day was almost over and I was last to drive, taking the stretch from Guthrie to Midwest City. The highway had moderate traffic, a mix of semi trucks and cars. I watched the speedometer, the needle held at a careful 60 miles an hour with hands at 10 and 2. The car was quiet; the radio turned low, just a murmur to keep the silence from being uncomfortable.

In front of me a semi truck rolled, white trailer blocking my view. To my left cars passed, one after another, speeding by in a stream that made my palms itch.

I shot a look at Coach, "Can I pass the truck?"

“Sure,” he said, glancing at the mirrors and turning in his seat to check the road behind us. “Just don’t go too fast.”

I waited for an opening, blinker on, foot easing down on the gas. I took the first opportunity and the speedometer began to climb. In the left lane I could see a line of five or six semi trucks. I’d have to pass them all.

I stopped watching the speedometer.

The trucks began to go by, getting passed by a car equipped with a break pedal on the passenger side and full of kids. 

Coach started calling out my speed. It rose from 65 to 70. I checked the rear view, a car bearing down on me and still a few trucks to pass before I could get over into the right hand lane. I pressed the gas.

“Seventy five!” the coach’s voice rose.

“I’ll get over in a minute,” I said, knuckles white.

“Eighty!”

And from the backseat, “We’re all gonna die!”

Birth

Birth

Dead Fish

Dead Fish