“Are you all right?” I yelled out the window.
“What did you do that for?” my father asked.
I shrugged. A car isn’t a car, I thought to myself, it’s a machine.
“It wasn’t exactly planned,” I said. “Should I try again?” He picked up the orange pylons and threw them into the trunk. Guess not, I thought.
“Why don’t we call it a day,” he said.
I wanted to drive. I wanted to keep going, forward. I wanted to break out onto the highway, put my foot to the floor, turn on the radio, and sing along.
“I can drive,” I said. “I mean, I do have my learner’s.”
“I know,” my father said. “But I can’t teach you. I just can’t,” I slid across to the passenger side. My shirt stuck to the driver’s seat, and then it pulled away with a soft sucking sound.
“Jack, don’t get me wrong. I’m just not a teacher.”
He pulled out onto the parkway. He didn’t spin his head around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. He didn’t look in all forty directions at once, the way Vernon said you should.
“Maybe we can try again in a couple of days,” he said.
“It’s just the parallel parking that seems to be a problem. We can work on it.”
I pulled the visor down and looked at myself in the clip-on mirror.
My face floated, weightless, unmarked. The skin was clean and white, with freckles. My face floated, unlike my father’s, which seemed thick and heavy, broken by the lines around his mouth and eyes.”
A. M. Homes (Washington DC,16 december 1961)