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There was always one major thought, the goal, a simple dream that made twinges of excitement flow through my body. The waiting was incredible, and it always seemed forever and a day before it would come true. This is a typical pre-teen, adolescent dream, yet it was as important to me as the sun rising. Nothing would ever top this, once I had it, no one could take it away. Getting my driver’s license was only half the battle; the dream was to have my very own car. I wanted it and I dreamed about it everyday.
In my early years of high school, my older friends would drive me to and from school, just the normal everyday activities. Usually we would go grab a bite to eat, drop off some of the other passengers–mine was the third stop. Since I was too young to participate in all the activities on their agendas, I was unable to tag along. I had rules and an over-protective mom who was strict on what time I was to return home (and made sure I completed my homework before allowing me to go out with my friends). As the time passed, and I was a bit older, all my close friends started to get their driver’s licenses and living the freedoms that I still yearned. They were able to come and go as they pleased without the hassles of ‘bumming a ride’. With their own transportation many were able to have more ‘choice’ jobs. My time for this accomplishment was nearing.
That coming summer I was able to take my driver’s training courses. I was thrilled to no end knowing how close I was to achieving the same sovereignty as my peers. I had two courses to complete that I was raring to get done. With the pressures of high school and all the responsibilities that come along, it was not easy to find a job without my own car. After a couple months or searching for work, I put on my brave front and sought employment (at the ever-so dreaded) mall. I soon found a quaint job and began my quest to save money. It seemed no matter how much I worked, nor how much I was able to sock away, small bills and responsibilities continued to get in the way. I often thought, ” All this money I am giving my friends for gas, I could be putting away, or spending on gas of my own!” Spending a mere five dollars per day alone, expenses were adding up quickly. Although I had small expenditures, I was still able to save here and there, and just prayed I would be rewarded with lots of monetary units when I graduated.
After all my courses and many hours of driving with my mother and friends of age, I was ready for my road test. I was overly prepared, and knew I would ace this test. Without a second thought, I hit the ground running; my parallel parking was flawless, speed limit was on target, and my hands on nine and twelve as they should be (many may remember the old version on ten and two). Soon enough I was at the local Secretary of State, dressed up, more nervous about the picture then I was about the test itself. Within a few weeks, my small hard plastic license was in the mail. Only one problem remained, I had no vessel for traveling!
I had my license for nearly a year when my senior year was coming close to an end. I had a small amount of money saved and was depending heavily on graduation money to satisfy my thoughts and needs for buying a car. I had my sights set one car. It was within my price range, and met every one of my demands.
The car was a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis, crème colored (the year is now 2001). Matching Beige interior, working quartz clock, dual exhaust cherry bomb mufflers (loud enough to set off a car alarm) complete with a CD player. I am not the type of girl who wants a brand new car. Mine had to be already loved; and then hated enough to sell. A car that has it’s own distinguished smells of adventure. One that no longer has the owner’s manual, so you find out new appurtenances about the inner-workings and excites you to the point where you show the ‘new’ features to all your comrades. The first time you clean it out, you may find treasures under the seats and in the nooks and crannies. It needs a little more love than the rest so it will run nice and warm in the winter, and will not over heat in the summer. A place where you can listen to any of your CD collection and it sounds amazing (just because it is all yours). A car that can fit five or more people in, for those surprise trips that you cannot refuse. That was the perfect car for me. One that you can give a divine name to, like Maurice.
Within a few months of graduating, the Grand Marquis was put up for sale. A gleaming reddish orange “FOR SALE” sign hung proudly in the rear window, and it read in large, black letters $900! I could not believe they were going to let such a treasure car go for so little money! It was all I could do to contain myself knowing I had just enough money to buy it, and still have some left over to get it washed and buy a few things to personalize the interior. Seeing as how it was a friend’s vehicle, I was first in line for bids. After a few days of negotiations (and me being a long time friend of the entire family) they let that beauty go for a measly $500!
There were tasks to be completed before I was able to show my very first car off. I purchased a new furry steering wheel cover with a matching pillows in the back that stated “BLING $$ BLING” in gold glitter, a super heavy duty car wash, a misting of Febreeze, a good wipe down of the interior, and I was ready to gloat. I raced up onto my front lawn, careful to not mutilate the grass or murder the daisies, and laid on the harmonic horn until the whole household was outside to witness the cars majesty. I had put on the perfect track of everyone’s listening pleasure, The Joker by The Steve Miller Band. “Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah, some call me the gangster of love, some people call me Maurice…” It was awesome!
A pubescent dream, whether big or small is important to one’s self image or self-confidence. I could not imagine living in a world without dreams or aspirations, whether they are material objects or transcendental hopes. To some, a dream of a car seems inconsequential; to others it’s their whole world. This was all I ever wanted in an automobile, just enough to transport me to my destinations and acquiesce in me the carte blanche that I had always dreamt about.