The I Got My Driver 's License Essay

997 Words Oct 16th, 2016 4 Pages
The year I got my driver 's license began auspiciously, with the sheikh 's home on Sunset Boulevard burning to the ground on New Year 's Day. It was about a decade after Manson and before Menendez, and the sheikh 's lewdly-embellished statues lining the property reinforced the certainty that all threats came from outside the city limits.

I was at my best friend Allegra 's house a half block away when we heard the sirens and went to watch the spectacle. Wearing the Benetton sweaters they 'd gotten for Christmas, the crowd chanted “Burn, burn, burn,” until the mansion 's copper roof collapsed. A great whoosh swept over the spectators, imparting a sense of order restored, until two local boys showed that the most insidious menace might be in the bedroom down the hall.

One afternoon that summer, I was walking home from my job as a boxboy, which is what they called us all before the crusade against sexist job titles. The sky was the color of bleached Levi 's, the daily haze that veiled the mountains and stung my eyes. I had my first paycheck in my purse, the seed of what I hoped would grow into a down payment on a used Datsun. Allegra had gotten a new Beemer for her birthday. At the southern fringe of Beverly Hills where I lived, though, things were different.

“Darkness on the Edge of Town,” still my favorite record after almost two years, played in the headset on my Walkman. Allegra always joked that it must be hard for Bruce to write about escaping a dull factory…

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