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Driving Me Crazy

By Stephanie Berger

The night before I boarded my one-way plane from Arizona to New York, I went out with friends, had a few beers, and said goodbye to some people that I may not see for years. Then, on my way home, I took an extra-long route, prolonging the moment that I would pull up in my parents’ driveway and say goodbye forever to my car.

My parents sold the car when I moved — there was no point in having it gather dust at their house while I took the subway everywhere in New York. But even though I’m thrilled to save money on gas and car insurance (good thing, or else I wouldn’t be able to afford my rent), I sometimes miss being able to drive myself from point A to B.

When it comes to me driving, the grass is always greener on the other side. In Arizona, I hated being stuck in traffic on the highway and never being able to find a parking spot at school. I saw NYC’s public transportation system as a blessing — I could read, listen to music, and relax on the train, always knowing that I’d get to my destination.

Call me sentimental, but these days, I miss my car. I’ve discovered that I can’t read on the subway (it makes me nauseous), and when I try to listen to my iPod, I often can’t hear my own music over the blare of the person listening to theirs too loudly next to me. To make matters worse, I usually don’t have enough room to move an inch on my rush hour commutes — at least when I was stuck in traffic in my own car, I wouldn’t have a Sweaty B.O. Man or Pointy-Elbowed Woman invading my personal space.

And for the past week, my evening rides home have caused me nothing but trouble, from 30-minute delays to witnessing crazy people have mental breakdowns on the platform. What I wouldn’t give for the open road, the wind in my hair, my stereo blasting as I stop focusing on the road and don’t realize that the cars in front of my have slowed down, resulting in me plowing into the truck in front of me…

Oh yeah, there’s one thing I don’t miss about driving: car accidents.

Guess I better stop complaining and stick to the Metro after all.

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