597. “How Important Is It to Have a Driver’s License?”

In response to The New York Times article “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.”


597. “How Important Is It to Have a Driver’s License?”


Like super doper.


But for real. This is America. And one must learn to drive a car, and one must have (no need to carry) one’s image of the state they grew up in, have it around somewhere. Or if you grew up else where but moved here well then you could have (again, no need to carry) a bit of this new country that has work and school and groceries and an awesome interstate for you.


Good luck moving around in Texas without a car. I was sixteen when I got my learner’s permit, and that was late. Most fifteen year olds know the names of the major highways in Houston. Though, now with GPS, I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. But, still, you can’t go see a movie, buy a CD, or get a coffee in Texas without a car, even in a small town where every business is on the main thoroughfare, and all the houses are far in to the left or to the right. (On Washington Ave there is a Margaritas-to-go stand, at least there was one.) And now with Amazon, we get our products delivered, but someone yet has to have a driver’s license if they’re doing all our bag carrying and sitting in traffic for us.


I didn’t expect this essay to come out as nostalgic and finger waving as it did, but maybe I just miss Texas. I haven’t swapped my TX license for a NY license. I’m still a card carrying cowboy with a shooting range key chain card up front and a rubber down back. Gotta stay modern, but not too modern that I lose the photo of me at the DMV 2014, wherein I looked pretty good, whereas on my NY State ID card photo I look exactly half bad. I won’t give up my TX driver’s. I like the off-white. I like the shimmering blue streaks, the famous pictures of buildings. I like the perforated image of the most recognizable state — am I bias? — in the Union.


Plus I don’t drive here in Brooklyn or the City. Why would I? For what a driver pays for gas I get a 30-day metro pass. And I don’t worry about changing oil or expired inspection stickers (only wait for track construction and watch track fires). And I don’t stress about parking (only walking a few blocks in a January blizzard to and fro the metro stops). So, keep the card I do. And drive around I don’t, unless it’s back to the Lone Star State.


Plus, what will you show the bouncer at the neighborhood club? A fake? Your library card? Passport!? I am reminded of the scene in The Big Lebowski where the Dude is brought in for questioning after being “dejected” from Jackie Treehorn’s garden party, where the cop looks through his wallet, and finds only a sketch of a naked man, and a Ralph’s discount card: “Is this your only form of ID?”


Lol. And yes.

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