8th grade, my parents had just gotten divorced, my dad leaves for work hours before I have to be at school via the yellow chariot surrounded by window lickers.

Woke up late, no way I’d make the bus, cruddy weather so biking to school was a no go.

I see our other car in the driveway and using teen logic to justify my actions, chose the dumbest course of action.

Drove to school, parked waaay back next to the dumpsters and scuttled into class easy peasey.

Thought I had gotten away with the perfect scam as I didn’t brag or tell anyone, until I got home...

There was a note on the fridge from my dad saying “we need to talk, I’ll be back by 6"

He had come home for a nooner, put 2+2 together, was going to Hulk Smash my social life until forever, but his girlfriend who had kids of her own convinced him to leave the note for me to make the next couple of hours of my life utter shitscared.

It worked - I didn’t take the car out again for at least 3 more weeks. Until I ran over the newspaper in the drive and got busted again.

There’s no other feeling in the world like driving for the first time: scary, exhilarating, the feeling of freedom and power. I still feel that way almost 40 years later.