Learning to Drive
and getting away with it...
If academics wasn’t your thing at George Washington High School there was a way around it. Or it seemed that way. Every year you would get your schedule and teachers would be assigned to you. The was to bag the “easy” teachers, the ones that would give out the answers willingly, or truly didn’t care about teaching.
In the circumstance that you hadn’t received ‘easy’ teachers you could always make a case for it at your counselors office. It was easy for me because I would just say that bullies we’re in my class, And that I needed to switch so I don’t get abused physically or mentally for being Gay. Fact is, the bullies we’re all waiting for me in the easy classes, but we would only see each other for a few minutes, and I would only get called a fag a few times.
Sophomore year was the breeziest. I had 3/6 “easy classes”, Meaning I truly only attended 3 of them. The one class that was an absolute joke was Ms. B’s class, Algebra. The students in the class were mostly degenerates, and punks. People that didn’t care for math, and definitely not school. Ms. B approaches the classroom, barely putting her cigarette out. She's a larger woman standing about 5'2 dressed in all black, including her black nails, toes, and hair. She addresses the classroom in a raspy smoker's roar “Alright class, today we’re learning about quadrilateral equations, open your books to page 32, and I’m going to read out the answers”. My classmates would then start yelling at each other to shut up, they knew the faster she read them, the faster they could do whatever they wanted. Ms. B sits down, throws on her prada glasses, and screams “SHUT UP… Number 1, the answer is…”.
After Ms. B yells the entire page, I get up to turn in my paper, then sit back down and wait for Ms. B to eventually make her way over to the computer to shop online. (A daily routine) It was only then when she was distracted enough that you could actually leave the class. I wait patiently, she waddles over, sits down, and rests her heavy jeweled hand on the mouse. Voila, It is time.
I sneak out of class and head across the track to hop the fence. I strut the 1 block down to my house. I remember it being a crisp & sunny day not a cloud in the sky (super rare for the Richmond District which is normally engulfed in fog). I’m nearing my house and find my dad's White Nissan Pathfinder in my driveway. I stutter for a sec but then remember that my Dad just left for Arizona. The house is clear for entry! I go upstairs and open the door to which I’m immediately attacked by the tiniest Golden Retriever, my beloved Miss Teagan. (She’s dead now) I wrestle her down and give her smooches then set my backpack down and looking up I find the keys to the Nissan on the mantle. I think to myself what could be so hard about driving, I can drive the go-karts my in Sunnyvale, so I must be able to do this! I grab the car keys and head downstairs to “practice driving”. I get in, put the keys in the ignition, take a mental note of where everything is so that I can set everything back in perfect order.
I put the car in reverse and expected the car to back up slowly. (As I’ve watched my dad do a million times) Nothing is happening.. I slowly step on the gas and still the car will not move. I look all around the car as I have my foot still pressing on the gas slightly. Ah HA! The emergency break! I quickly click it down and vroom the Nissan takes off with the quickness. So quick that I didn’t even realize I’m already across the other side of the street and I pushed my neighbor's car which was parked parallel on the street, right onto the sidewalk. I SLAM on the breaks. Everything in that moment slowed down and went dead quiet. At this moment I thought I’ve officially ruined the rest of my life. I quickly look up and down the street. Not a single life form in sight. But who’s to say someone isn’t watching from their windows!? I put the Nissan back in drive and literally smashed into my garage door. I jumped out of the car and ran up the stairs like nothing happened. I start to have a full blown panic attack squeezing Teagan as tight as I can. “WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO!?” I look outside and still no one is out there or showing signs that anyone has any urgency to act upon what just went down in our hood. I look at the Nissan, it’s crooked in the garage. I need to fix it. But I can’t drive! Fuck!
I text my friend Anna, the only other friend I know that drives in my friends circle.
Anna was in Period 4 in which she was a Teacher's Assistant to Ms. C (the coolest teacher at GWHS). So of course once Miss C heard the news of what I’ve done she let Anna out. Anna came down, easily fixed the car, then proceeded to light up a blunt to calm me down. We eventually made our way back to school high as a kite for our favorite period. Lunch.
Weeks later my Mom & Dad went to Safeway on La Playa to get groceries. Once they arrived home they noticed a scratch but blamed it on a shopping cart. (BOOM!) I was in the clear. Thus furthering the problem of me getting away with everything. But even till this day whenever I go home and I look outside the living room window and I see that tiny house, I’m always reminded of what I did. Or I know eventually my Karma would come around.
Actually, now that I write this section. I think Miss Karma did come around.
Flash forward, I’m 25 years old and my best friend at the time Nico and I took a trip back home in my Gray Honda fit. We dropped our luggage at my family house then went to dinner at Beretta, an Italian Restaurant on the corner of 23rd and Valencia where my Twin Sister worked at the time. After a gorgeous meal, a ton of laughs, and seal salt panna cotta. We drove to the Castro for a night cap dance moment. We arrived around 1:30am parked behind a large white trunk then ran to our favorite spot. Come to find out it closed early, and everywhere else was closing up shop, so we walked back towards the car. As we’re walking down the hill of Castro Street we see the big white trunk turn its lights on, it starts to back up. I then could see and hear the trunk CRUNCH the hood of my car. I run light speed waving my arms for him to stop. He didn’t notice (obviously he drives a fucking TANK) and drove off. I was left with nothing but my Karma. She’s a bitch.
About the author
Queer Storyteller - native of San Francisco.
I write mostly non-fiction stories based on people and experiences I’ve witnessed. Maybe a tad "jeuged"
Trigger warning! There... I said it.