Ride Sally Ride

I made a new friend the day I turned 16. Her name was Sally, and she showed up in my driveway that bright July morning. She was a blue 1967 muscle car. My father showed me how to pump gas, and immediately she and I set off on a series of great misadventures.


She asked little of me but petrol and oil, and in return I pumped her full of mix tapes and blew out her speakers. At first we cautiously just drove back and forth to school, giving kids rides out to lunch. Soon enough we began to take the Surf Punk kids to the skate park, and the New Wave kids to Phases (the Valley’s hottest New Wave rock dance club). I once piled in nine friends to go to Magic Mountain, bottoming out on every bump and turn in the road. Another time, sunburnt and giddy after drinking Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink on the beach, four friends and I drove home topless. Boy did the gossip fly the next day at school, even though we all swore secrecy. I know Sally didn’t spill!

The freedom Sally gave me was at times hard to fathom. I could have left home if I had wanted to, just driven away without ever stopping. I never did, but I fantasized about it many times, mad, crying, and lonely in my room in the way only a 16-year-old girl can do. It’s funny how much a car can truly be like a BFF.

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