Saturday, December 18, 2010

Night transport

I drove home tonight from a friend's party. She lives in the bush-area relatively close to where we live, but it was still a bit of a drive home. The vehicle I drive currently is a 1989 Suzuki Swift GTI, manual transmission.

The road I drove along wound around the curves of the landscape, and I have been driving the car long enough to become accustomed to the shift range and sweet spots in the car; how much force to put behind the wheel and the weight of the car.

I drive. The road has traffic intermittently, so I don't always use the high-beams, but I'm traveling in a small sports car that makes noise and I am enjoying myself.

For a change I feel powerful, in control, dangerous and I know it. Like, an eagle flying at high speed at low altitude. Driving at night is exhilarating in a way that differs from driving during the day. When I am by myself, there is only me and the car. Pendulum is playing through the 21-year-old speakers and there is no base, but I am singing along in harmony and it adds to the adrenaline in my veins.

The limit exists, but I don't break it. I am not above the law. Instead, I use the lightweight body of the car and my knowledge of the gears to accelerate the car to the speed.

A light sounds over the crest opposing me, and I raise my arm to try and block the oncoming light of the high-beams. "Thanks, mate." I think as the oncoming fails to dim the beams before scouring my night vision away.

I come to the T-intersection that marks the last seven kilometres to home and comfortably curve around in second gear, turning my high-beams on. I continue down the road, but before I make it to the crest I see lights in the rear-view mirror. Noting the top corner lights on the car behind, I realise that it is a truck and it is sitting on my butt in no time whatsoever, This guy was doing way more than the speed limit and he continues to sit too close as I head down the hill to the turnoff. I sigh as he turns on the left indicator also. This guy is going down Beach St too then. But he doesn't turn down my street. I see the car profile as it passes me and confirm my suspicions: truck.

Remembering that it is a residential area, I try and keep the sound of the car down; sports mufflers are noisy and it is past ten. I pull in, and decide to wash the car the next day.

Nothing quite beats the exhilaration of driving at night, when you feel in control on a road that has substance and curves. It can be dangerous. But it is a lot of fun too. 

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