I learned to drive in the winter in Michigan, so for the most part, the most eventful things that happened when I drove with my instructor was alternately getting blinded by snow during a sunny day and being blinded by snow during a blizzard. But there’s one incident—one horrifyingly embarrassing—incident that I’ll never forget.
See, when we reached a certain level of comprehension, we were allowed to bring in our iPods to listen to music of our choice if we didn’t want to listen to the radio. I was not particularly a radio fan at that point in my life; the local rock station had been playing the same rotation of songs for at least a decade, and, according to the folks who still live there, not much has changed. I was far edgier at that point in my life, going through the middle of a goth phase. I had advanced far beyond the level of Five Finger Death Punch.
When I got the okay, I was stoked to whip out my iPod. The only problem was, I didn’t have time to prepare a playlist. I had to just kinda pick something and roll with it. So, I went with my most recently played songs. I’d been listening to a lot of Tool, and that seemed like good driving music for when I needed to really focus on something else.
The only problem was, Tool was not the only thing I’d been listening to quite frequently at that point in my life. I was also very angsty and enjoying The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails.
If you can’t see where this is going, let me break it down for you. The Downward Spiral features a song called “Closer.” That song is about having sex. Dirty, nasty sex. “I wanna fuck you like an animal” kind of sex.
And it’s six whole entire minutes long.
And, of course, as soon as they heard the first of “fuck,” the car just went dead silent. My instructor stopped chatting with the other teen driver who was waiting for her turn in the backseat. I could catch glimpses of her in the rearview mirror, looking like she was about to explode from laughing so much. I really would have enjoyed exploding at that moment, if only to take me away from eternal mortification.
The worst part was that my instructor let the whole song play out. The entire thing. He didn’t say a word until we hit the pause between songs. And at that point, staring out the windshield, he said, “I think it’s best we go back to the radio now.”
I still haven’t gotten over it. So, help me ease my shame by sharing some of your own.