I had a dream about driving when I was four and a half. My Mom was pregnant with my brother, Jason, and I dreamed I had to take her to the hospital 'cause Daddy was offshore and she had gone into labor. In the dream I was a hero and performed my duty well. In my mind driving was nothing and the only thing standing in my way were some silly laws and my parents' lack of faith in my abilities. It would take Mom being in a crisis for me to show them my talent. Yes, at four years old I dreamed of the adults needing me to save them in some way.
At seven years old my Dad put me at the steering wheel of a flat bed bus with which our family hauled hay. I was to drive a straight line in a field while my Dad and older cousins would pick up the hay and stack it neatly on the bus. It was my chance to show my Daddy what I could do and if it wasn't for all the hollaring he had to do to keep me in a straight line then I think he would have let me on the road.
Three years later my Papaw finally gave into all the pleading. He handed me the keys to The Silver Streak, sat on the passenger side of the bench seat and told me to turn it on. I did and we drove a circle by his house over and over, again and again. Finally, I thought, I am driving. Not too long after that I had Papaw convinced I could do it on my own.
At twelve years old I was taking Papaw's Silver Streak all by myself to a little country church twelve miles down a thin, curvy road . It was perfect. I would get in that car, turn on my favorite radio station and head out to a sanctuary of about seven people of whom I was the only one under the age of sixty. Nobody there seemed to mind I was twelve years old and let loose on the world in an Oldsmobile.
Until one Wednesday night.
Cue Jump by Van Halen.
Dear Slater, this one is for you, baby, and will be continued.