Riding Alone in my Automobile
Girls for me have always been like drivers’ ed class.
I don’t mean the sultry, disheveled quasi-classroom
on 76th and Hampton, during the summer of ’91—
Easy Method Driving School, which we called Sleazy Method.
Crazy Michelle behind the wheel with us
Screaming wildly at innocent mistakes
Drinking coffee to maintain a snatch of sanity,
Chain-smoking cigarettes between rides, and
Smoking-hot babes riding in the backseat; me
Adjusting the rear-view for a clear-view.
No, girls have been more like the street signs:
Pedestrian Crossing—Yeah, about that exciting; like flossing.
No Passing Zone—Hey, it’s a no-anything zone that set the tone.
Two-way Traffic—Heading in opposite directions can be quite tragic.
Dangerous Curves—Too often in all the wrong places, or what I don’t deserve
Stay in Your Lane—All attempts are redirected in vain.
Dangerous Intersection—Avoid getting slapped and use discretion.
Lane Ends—Just when it was getting somewhere, “Let’s be friends.”
No U Turn—Woulda, coulda, shoulda and got burned.
Do Not Enter—I won’t go there, which issue is at the center.
Stop—Every variation I’ve been given, from bottom to top.
And yet I was driven,
Learning to drive so I could have the freedom to
go on dates with all the girls who’d avoided me
and therefore, voided me.
So Mandy could tell me my inherited-from-grandma
grey Cavalier was a “cute” car, the day she took a ride
when her college boyfriend’s Firebird was a no-show.
So I could learn “sensible” isn’t a synonym for “sexy,”
At least not for a high school student who claimed,
“I like my women like I like my cars”—use your imagination for that one
So I could spend exorbitantly, enhancing
The wheels, sound system, and radar detecting abilities,
While forgetting to add oil…ever.
So I could get a job to pay for insurance
To own the car to get to my job
To pay for gas to drive my car to get to my job.
So I could consummate the American love-affair
With my car, someday using the need to fix this or that
As an ironic excuse to escape
My beautiful, loving wife to the garage.