My eyes are open, but I’m not fully awake yet. I’m staring at the empty beer bottles and half-smoked joint on the coffee table as the sun peeks through the shitty old curtains. It must be well past the crack of noon and today’s hangover is a little milder than the others I’ve had this week. “That old Santa Cruz shirt laying over there probably smells better than the one I have on” I think to myself. I sit up, gather my thoughts, and shuffle in pain to the other side of the trailer and change out my shirt.
The key. It’s the only key I own to anything and there it is on the counter. I don’t even have keys to this shitty old trailer, loosely decorated with a 1980s country cottage sofa and lawn chairs left behind during some stupid concert for rich kids in the desert. I do, however, have this key. The key that gives me access to the only happiness I know anymore. I grab the key and go. I gotta get the fuck out of here. Nobody is making me leave. It’s my place, but it fucking sucks. It’s depressing as hell and it just reminds me of everything I’ve lost. I’m lost. I need to get lost.
I comb back the three day old Brylcreem and grab my dollar store RayBan knockoffs, the ones that I haven’t broken yet, and push my way into the outside. There she is. She waits for me there all covered in that low desert dust that covers and permeates nearly everything out here. Her once beautiful black skin is now worn from the abuse. She used to have her own garage, but not anymore. My losses are her losses, but she understands and remains there by my side. Always loyal and more trustworthy than myself.
The short walk to get to her was longer than it needed to be, but I can feel her energy the second I sit down and shut the door. The goddamn rattle snake that keeps trying to fuck with me makes a noise while he sits on the rock just within my sight through the windshield. I used to be scared of him when I first got here, but as time goes on I think we have a mutual respect for each other. I give him a quick nod before I start the car and scare him off.
The car starts with a raucous “VROOM!”. I smile for a second before reminding myself that I really have nothing to smile about. She used to make me happy, but now she just provides an effective therapy not found on any crying couch in an office of someone pretending to care about me.
There’s not much of anything out here. The nearest town is about an hour away, but I’m heading in the opposite direction. My feeling of solitude can only be fixed by solitude… and speed.
It’s a ten minute dusty drive to get to pavement, but I get there, turn left onto recently repaved black tarmac, and stop for a second. There’s no other cars out here. Not on this road, unless they’re lost. The windows go down, both hands back on the wheel, let off the brake, and press the on-off switch that others refer to as an accelerator pedal. She responds with a rebel yell of eight cylinders and pistons pushing spent fuel out of her exhaust. If she had a middle finger then this would be hers to what the world has become. It’s not her fault. She was just born this way and yeah… she’s a bit of a dinosaur in today’s electric world, but neither of us care what others think. Neither of us will be around much longer anyhow and the world will move on just fine without us.
50 miles per hour comes on like yesterday and we’re quickly approaching 100 before all of the tire smoke has even dissipated behind us. 120, 150, 170 miles per hour and we just keep going. Hands still gripped onto the wheel and accelerator still switched to “on”, we push until she has no more to give. She’s done. I’m done. The sun is setting.