P – Week 4 – Roadspace Reverie

Taking the old gold Mustang out on the backcountry roads. It’s older than I am but with decidedly more energy. The cassette tapes rattling around on the floorboard are all country music but the radio stations from the nearest town spit and crackle as I turn the dial so I grab a random handful and pop one in. The owner of the car said not to take it over 75—something needs to be replaced on the front end—and the sign says 55, but the car wants to go faster; I can feel it willing my foot down, begging for more gas. On an open stretch of emptiness the pedal touches the floor and I watch the speedometer with morbid fascination…65…70…The front passenger wheel starts vibrating a little too hard, but I don’t let off the gas…75…The car wants to know how fast it can go…80…I tell myself that I will turn back at the next crossroads but they pass in an unconsidered blur…85…Every curve leads to another…90…I finally understand the thrill of speed…95…I turn up the volume and sing along. Yes Garth, I also have friends in low places and you know what? They have faster cars than friends elsewhere. Naomi asks the same question that has been on my mind for weeks, “Baby, why not me?” I wonder if she ever got her answer…I lose my nerve just shy of 100 and I can feel the car’s disappointment as I back off the accelerator. I pull into the boarded-up driveway of an old strip mine and sit for a moment. The cows in the field across the street look at me. I look at them. I take a picture. I put the car into gear and back out onto the old highway, heading in the direction I just came from. The engine growls at me and I comply, even as I realize that we have both developed a taste for something dangerous.

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