Originally posted January, 2007
Just before I turned 16, my father bought this 1967 Mustang for me to drive. Even though it wasn't yet considered a classic, it was a damn cool set of wheels, and it was everything to me. It represented endless possibilities and was the reason I couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning. It was my first taste of freedom, my ticket to anywhere, at least anywhere in L.A..
I'll never forget the day I got my license, or the feeling I had when backing out of the driveway for the first time. It was like leaving each and every one of my teenage cares behind me. After dark, when I returned home, I was exhausted and shaking, and the odometer revealed all: day one out of the gate and I had driven 200 miles.
I slept in my bed and ate breakfast in the kitchen, but I lived in that car. I even gave her a name. Frankie. Driving her I played music non-stop, picked up friends and drove everywhere--to rock concerts, the beach, and through the hills of Hollywood.
Once, when returning from Malibu, I pulled up to a stoplight on Sunset Boulevard. In the car beside me was, by teenage girl standards, the hottest guy who ever lived. He looked at me and mouthed the words, “You’re beautiful.” I sat there speechless, and when the light turned green and he took off, I looked at myself in the mirror. My hair was a wind-blown mop, my eyes bloodshot red, and my face burnt by the sun. But I felt like Cinderella sitting in her magic coach, and no clock striking twelve could ever take that away.