Addiction, Blogging, Breakups, Confessions, essays, New York, Recovery, Sex, Writing

Sex and Driving

images-65I love being in a car with a dude. Mostly. I made a single attempt at learning to drive when I was sixteen, rolling up on sidewalks with my stepfather shouting directions at me and learning that, under certain stress conditions, stop signs are completely invisible. And Bummer once let me drive his father’s car from Morristown to Teaneck, but when we reached our destination I couldn’t fit the car into the parking spot and, vexed with all the instructions I was being given and more than a little stoned, I plowed the car directly and purposefully into someone’s Cadillac.   A summer’s worth of waitressing tips squandered on a deeply satisfying moment of oh fuck this shit.

I never planned on being a driver, sort of idly figuring that there would always be plenty of more adult adults with cars and a working knowledge of what an alternator is to ferry me around.   As a teenager, cars were expensive-seeming but alluring, mobile bedrooms with cup holders, a place where you could listen to music and smoke pot and fuck people. Despite all the windows, cars always feel weirdly private, and that is probably why you can see so many people rooting around in their noses at red lights.

My junkie boyfriend Monster drove a red Volvo that we lived in for a while after paying rent started coming in a distant second to buying heroin. The landlord had changed the locks on our apartment one afternoon, and we were both too embarrassed to call anyone to let us in to get our things. That’s how I lost all these arty photographs I had of my sixteen-year-old self frolicking naked in the snow, but everything else in that apartment I didn’t care about. It’s kind of freeing, actually, taking only what you can fit in the backseat of a car. Of course the car was towed a few weeks later while it was parked illegally on Bowery and Monster and I were wandering around high, and that was the end of that. We never saw the Volvo again.

Since then, I’ve dated men with and without cars in New York, and while I will broadly purport to not to care about these big gassy symbols of American oil subsidies, secretly there is something enticing about a man who can give me a ride. I think about the fireman I dated, a big man who was into wearing women’s pantyhose, and who had heated leather seats that made my thighs prickle. I liked climbing into his behemoth of a truck, which he attached a plow to in the winter and had a permit to drive on the beach in Montauk in the summer, and I spun a lot of relationship fantasies around this truck, even if I ultimately wasn’t into the whole pantyhose thing. It’s interesting, really, how specific our kinks can be.

Living in New York, a bike and a metrocard are perfectly acceptable means of transportation. My bike is some kid’s discarded Huffy, slurry-green with bits of masking tape gumming up the frame and a little license plate with my name on it. I ride around at terrifyingly aggressive speeds listening to Tupac or Ministry, blowing off the red lights as suggestions. It’s a feral street bike so crappy that it lives out front chained to a pole and doesn’t get stolen; recently it was buried in a snowbank for about a month. That’s my ride.

So this driving thing might take a minute. A friend of mine, who shares a name with my stepfather but not his innate volatility, takes me to the cemetery to practice, trusting me with control of his car, and I’m all but of course. I slide behind the wheel on the driver’s side, adjusting the seat like I own the place, but under my sweater I am projectile sweating. I am pretty sure that after I fasten my seatbelt and carefully angle the mirrors, I will drive us directly into a pole and explode. Earlier I had texted him: Are you ready to go run people over? Why would anyone trust me with a giant rolling murder machine, ever?

The cemetery was a brilliant idea, though, because the people here are already dead, and no one laughs at me when I panic because there is an old holiday wreath lying in the middle of the lane and I’m not sure if you can run over it.   Also cemeteries are just awesome. When I was a kid, a cemetery was a place to hang out where no responsible person could see you and you could just hide behind a mausoleum and finger another teenager. I love cemeteries. The dead are so nonjudgmental.

Today, practicing my three point turns amid the graves gives me a rush of pleasure, which I didn’t expect. I always tend to think that other people can do things I can not do—own a home, drive a car, fix a problem, learn things.   But that’s changing.   I can drive myself places, and if the people behind me honk, I can handle it.

After I totally parallel park the car like a regular person in front of Starbucks, I text Connecticut to let him know about this bit of magic I have just performed.   We check in with each other a lot during the day, and it fills the gaping boyfriend-shaped hole I’ve been living with for these past couple of years since Sketch moved out. Connecticut and I make vague plans to road trip sometime soon (we’re talking Centralia, the mine-fire ghost town on both our bucket lists), but our plans are not about making out over the gearshift. It’s about driving with someone, that united feeling you get from having your eyeballs accelerate in the same direction as someone else’s. It’s about driving. It’s about finally getting a turn to fucking punch it.

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27 thoughts on “Sex and Driving

  1. So many great lines in here. Driving…done it since I was 18 and have soooo many stories. It’s my fantasy to move some place where I can get rid of the gas guzzling waste of money. But the first thing I did when I got back from 2 months in Europe was drive around my town because I could. So American pathetic.

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  2. Hey T Rex,
    My boyfriend taught me to drive in a pine forrest in Tasmania, the state in Australia where we were both born. He had a beat up ol’ Holden station wagon…affectionately known as the shaggin’ wagon. I had that forrest covered in no time Tippy, coulda drove round there blindfolded…you know I have been married to that boyfriend for 43 years now, we drove and effed that ol’ shaggin’ wagon stupid. The best fun we had our whole lives. Bringing back some great memories for me with this story T Rex. You and Connecticut get crackin’ on that road trip to Centralia ( gettin’ closer to Aust-RALIA!!) , have youselves a effin’ cruisin’ great time.
    Cheers mate from Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊

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  3. I learn’t to drive, while I was at boarding school in Wellington UK. At the time, it was a thrill in understanding how such a big mechanical beast was a mercy of a young boy. Later, I passed my driving test with the help of an actual driving instructor – still I was extremely young.

    When I purchased my first car, I was still extremely young, and I remember the smell of leather and sex was extremely strong in my car. In fact, I’m convinced it was the reason why so many girls were attracted to spending long hours in the car with me, driving, sight seeing and making out whenever we could.

    One time, we found these abandoned old tall industrial buildings and right in the middle of these buildings I parked up in broad daylight. Surrounded by these tall industrial stone buildings it made perfect sense to push back the seats and start effing. Good 40 to 50 minutes into it, suddenly there was a load cheer and applause and when I peeked out the window almost naked – on about the 3rd floor of one of the buildings – there were about a group of 10 men and women, smoking or drinking tea (or something) out of these windows and watching us in action.

    I remember wheeling spinning out of these, while both almost naked.

    Them building still exist but are now secured off away from public access.

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  4. Yoooooooo, Miss. T. You’ll crack it in no time and when you do you need to try this one simple but exhilarating boss-move: hit the open road with an open window. When the long road stretches out ahead, do the following, if it’s absolutely safe to do: Slide it to the side oh-so slowly (your booty, on the seat, towards the door); keep one dexterous hand firmly on it (the turny-knob thing you caress to sway the car side to side); keep the car true straight ahead on the road, and then bob it out the window (your head, out the open window – always double check for an open window before you swiftly bob), and then for the Pièce de résistance: let it hang all hang out. Yes, all of it. Your tongue, every inch of it (this takes practice – do tongue stretches in prep for this boss-move.) Now — let the wind flap and vibrate it vigorously (your tongue), against your cheek. Doggie style. Doggies love it! Also, quokka’s would absolutely love it too. Long exposure causes runny nose; leaking eyes, dry-shrinking tongue, a slap-happy cheek; pulsating, throbbing, bulbous heart; and you’ll excrete a large sample of happiness! When this becomes boring you can swop the ‘hang-out’ with another boss-move: shouting sexy obscenities. The boss hangout for the open road and boss sexy-obscentities for the inner city. One more thing – try for an O-face. Damn, I mean, E-face. E is for enjoy. Always. 😀 Keep safe. g

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