Sunday, May 8, 2011

1st Week of Driver's Ed

My mom learned to drive when she was in her forties. She surprised the whole family by presenting her new driver’s license to us while dancing around the living room with joy. My mom never danced around. She was so joyous that she passed. She didn’t tell anyone she was going to driving school.

Being a native New Yorker I never felt the need to learn to drive. The subway system goes almost everywhere and in every direction and there are buses for the places the trains can’t take you. And of course there are four taxis to every person in New York City.

My first day of driver’s ed I wait fifteen impatient minutes for the bus. I get on the full, but not crowded bus and the only seat available is across the aisle from a laid out heroin/crack/meth addict. He is passed out and leaning on what looks like a large laundry sack in the seat next to him. He looks messed up with a large, red lump like a small horn on his forehead. His mouth is hanging open. On the floor around him are large bags.

The guy sits up like a zombie rising, his eyes don’t open. I see that the laundry bag was really a bent over woman in her own drug induced stupor. She is stooped over, bent in her seat. Her vividly dyed hair is the only thing alive and it is hanging over her face. The addict sways and falls back to the side and lays back down on the woman.

The bus makes a stop and folks get off. The man still in his haze calls for the bus driver to wait, he somehow realizes it is their stop. With wobbly legs he stands up. He coaxes the woman up. They pick up their belongings. When they finally get to the backdoor we see that dude has pee all over the back of his shorts! There is an audible gasp and folks start mumbling about it. I am disgusted and shaking my head. The drugged up couple tumble out the door.

The class is fine. The driver’s ed the teacher is funny. She tells us little hilarious bits about her life and the other students and the dumb things they’ve done on the road.

There are folks of all ages and races in the class. The first lesson is a typical driver’s ed lesson with lots of information about a cars dashboard and what the gauges mean it is all interspersed with jokes from the teacher and laughter from the students. One student tells the teacher he drove to class alone. Everyone laughed at how illegal and stupid that was.