The Keys to Freedom

By , Temperance, MI

By itself, it is not much more than a piece of metal, however it is the literal and figurative key to the freedom of travel. In the literal sense, car keys provide a means to start a car allowing travel over very long distances in a relatively short time. In the figurative sense, car keys provide the ability to set yourself free from the area that you are stuck in and just drive away from problems or, more importantly,  they can be used to go to the solution.
I stand in an unfamiliar environment. Bad wallpaper and the smell of an old lady flood my senses. The house seems a little cramped yet comfortable. Most of the house that I explore is very clean. The kitchen is very organized, everything has a place and is easily accessible as if a master chef, or someone who really likes to bake is in charge. I am then handed the keys to my first car by the 90 year old Jewish woman. She is relatively short and very skinny. Her hair, obviously dyed brown, has the familiar, poofy, grandmother look. When your picture what a stereotypical grandmother looks like, she would be what comes to mind. She even offered me a cookie that she made before I left. How could I say no? Her wrinkly and shaky hand reaches out with the keys in hand and I put out my hand to receive.  She drops the keys in my hand, thanks me for taking the car and wishes me luck with my new car. I'm not it the house for more than 15 minutes, but time seems to slow down when leading up to something important.


From this point I am routed to the garage where my newfound freedom awaits in the dark. As the great door recedes the snowy white with a slight yellow sheam Buick LeSabre is revealed. The car is nearly scratchless besides for a small mark on the back bumper where the paint was scratched off. The tires, while very clean, had a visible amount of rust beyond the hub caps. The garage itself seems very bare. It is almost empty except for the car.  As I get into the warm car I slide across the tan seats and set the keys into the ignition. When I twist the vehicle to life, the familiar start up sound of a car fills the garage, and bad classical music begins oozing quietly from the radio. As I pull out of the garage and onto the driveway the new brakes squeak as I press the pedal. I cut the steering wheel left, turn it back, and head towards the open road.


Cars pass by unaware that this is a big moment for me. The drive home feels strange because in the unfamiliar car yet as I pull into my driveway I feel more confident that when I left. This point in my life was my first time piloting what would become a near necessity in my life. Upon arriving home I would take with me from now on not just the keys to a car, but the keys to my freedom. With them I become able to do and see what I want with more freedom in my life than ever before.

 

Since buying my first car I feel like I have more freedom than ever before. I can do and see what I want more often than ever before in my life. Before getting a car I didn’t feel like I would ever need one, now that I have one I don’t know what I would do without it. I keep my keys on me not only to start my car, but to remind me of my experience getting it and what it means to me.






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