Thursday, April 9, 2009

Unlicensed Driving

I have been driving since I was 17. It is risky to do so since I obviously don't have a license. Yet I started to drive out of necessity, because most of the jobs I've held aren't close to where I live. That and the fact that I work in a city that's located one and a half hours way from where my parent's home is (no train to it, only ICE infested Greyhound).

I don't take this small pleasure for granted, as I know of many DREAMers who don't drive because of the risk involved. I respect their choice, because I understand that we're not all one homogeneous clump and are all entitled to our own discretion.

Through out my 10 or so years of driving I have been blessed by some force (call it what you may), and have not been involved in any accidents. I was however, pulled over by a police officer about a year ago ( i'll go into that more another time), but things could have been a lot worse I suppose.

I've noticed recently that what started out as a need, is now becoming something else.

Driving to me has started to become a way to kind of let go of my "undocumented-ness" . I tend to forget that I don't have papers while I'm driving. Yea, in a lame way, it makes me feel "normal". I guess about as normal as I can feel.

Since I've been on my own, crashing relatives and friends' houses for some time now, my car has become my "home". When I feel out of place at my aunt's, or i just cant deal with the stress of whatever is happening, I go for a drive because I get comforted just by driving aimlessly through the city night.

It's a weird dilemma. I feel comfort but at the same time I'm subconsciously aware of the danger. Checking mirrors, controlling my speed, maintaining safe distances.

I think that once I take that (dreaded by some, anticipated by me) DMV driving test, I'll pass with flying colors, and then go for a drive.


  1. Very true. I didn't realize how I feel normal when I drive and I'm even more fortunate to have a DL, unlike most dreamers. Of course, soon you'll have to take the test once DREAM becomes a reality and we go on our road trip ;)

  2. people trip out on me not driving. Course living in L.A. there's no need for me to drive anywhere thanks to the bus. For me more than anything, it's a money thing. I don't want to have the financial burden of a car. I like having freedom from that. Course like you wrote, it's a need for you. I find the same freedom on my skateboard and while walking my dog.

  3. that's funny. I feel quite the opposite. like oh crap i can't do anything wrong because i don't have a license. it's a constant reminder you can't afford to mess up. of course i've already had a brush with the consequences. maybe that's why.

  4. I'm still not brave enough to drive. And like ERH said, I don't really have a need to drive (not yet anyway). Although, being a 5'2" female (ands one seriously lacking any muscle), walking home from the bus stop after a night out isn't really an option for me.

  5. great post! I have been driving since i was 16 and have been pulled over once. i lucked out and the cop let me go, but i do remember how humiliated i felt to have to convince the cop that i had driven that morning because i had no ride to work and i couldn't miss. i remember the anger and frustration i felt after he let me go and i got to work. it sucks that we have to always live on edge...hoping that at the end of the day we will return home the way we left it.