So for my decade of driving celebration, I needed to reunite with that lost love. It wouldn't be enough to just rent some generic car and noodle around. Especially since driving feels so natural now, I wanted to remember the way it felt back when I'd first started: getting jittery when I'd slide into the seat, spending most of my time staring at where a hood ornament should be instead of the road. I needed that first-timer's rush.
So I got hold of a Volkswagen Eos. It's a hardtop convertible with a roof that retracts, Batmobile-style, in 25 seconds; it's got a navigation system and an iPod dock; it's hunk-of-steel gray; it's a stick shift (did I mention I don't know how to drive stick?). I would recapture the feeling by learning something new about a car and, honestly, by scaring the hell out of myself.
Tonight, I drive. Or try to. Peter, a fellow city kid who's been my friend for two years—and in that time, we've driven together exactly once, in a rented Taurus—agreed to teach me how to drive it. After work, we'll get the car, he'll drive us to a back-alley part of Brooklyn, and I'll feel like the kind of driver, all terror and excitement, who I was 10 years ago.
Stay tuned—tomorrow I'll let you know how my first day on a manual goes.