I remember idling away my days and nights of adolescence, letting time wash gently over me, screaming in terror while racing my car around hairpin turns at upwards of ninety miles an hour. Back then you could only be cool if you had a car, and you could only be uncool if you drove it in the right lane, which had no jumps.
We would play all kinds of crazy games, like “tag,” where one car tries to shine its headlights on the other car, and “freeze tag,” where you drink a lot of alcohol and smash into a tree. The closer you got to obliterating your crumple zone, the more friends you had. The more friends, the more cars. And so would begin the cycle of unbelievably life-altering car crashes.
Cars were our life. My best friend built a shrine in his back seat, where he lost his virginity, was married, and raised his first family. Our prom was just 35 people parked in the school gym revving their engines to the tune of “I’ll Be There.” We even invented a crazy variant of polo in which we named the horses we used after cars.
Whenever we ran out of gas we would steal more from the local gas station. We did this by tricking the attendant into accepting Canadian dollars that we had converted into American dollars. We saved money through our nuanced understanding of foreign exchange. Then we would surreptitiously inflate our tires, which I guess was free to begin with.