A state of nirvana
"...you are in control, nothing else matters. You are free. "
Here I am sitting on my cushy recliner, the weather is absolute rubbish. The TV is on in the background. It's mainly a barrage of reactions to the new president elect on CNN. People are talking about how the world is going to burn, how they are going to save up for a ticket to get in on Elon Musks Mars programme. Why are people are so against someone that was fairly elected in? Goes to show how important it is to exercise your right to vote.
While this is all going on the more pressing issue in my head is... "Hope these new Endless brake pads I just bought will fit". While in-between brake pad thoughts, "wonder how sticky these Zestino semi-slick tyres will be in drizzly conditions" and "why doesn't Elon Musk run for the oval office?" But most importantly, I am concerned that the fatter profile of the tyres haven't compromised the overall look of my car.
My mind jumps into overdrive, trying to do the intense calculation of whether or not I have increased the overall diameter of the tyres too much. Keeping in mind the calculation is only able to be undertaken by an Ivy league graduated mathematician. One who is then handpicked by NASA and offered a high-ranking position. After a few minutes of giving myself way too much credit, thinking I'd be able to figure it out in my head, I throw in the towel. The final conclusion from eyeballing the car from side-on was the sidewalls looked a lil higher. Only way to remedy that is to lower the car 'just enough'. 'Just enough' roughly translates to 'pretty low'. 'Pretty low' means impractical front bumper height but not wrecking the suspension geometry and thus not compromising the handling. At this point I'm pretty happy. The couch is really comfy and the weather is getting worse outside, It's probably really cold too. Heat pumps are amazing inventions.
I finally decide to leave my fort knox of heat and head to the garage. This is where I will go and apply all the theories that I had just been pondering over. I get to the garage and decide to stare at the car for a while. Just looking at the lines, the mods, visualising the things that I'd love to modify next. Technically my car is finished, all aspects of it have been tinkered with. It handles like It's on rails, the power-band is useable and if you are feeling up to it, it can scare the living daylights out of you when you realise how fast you are going around a corner.
I stare at the car some more. My attention goes over to the tyres. It seems I was over thinking it, the bumper is 'pretty low' and the stance is angry yet purposeful. The rain has stopped outside. I look outside, it's getting dark, then look at the car again. My head thinks back to all the amazing drives and memories we have shared. I think back to all the jaws that were left dropped as the car has driven past.
Tonight my aim is to go for a decent cruise as I haven't driven my car for a few weeks. life has been way to busy of late. Conditions aren't the best but my car is a 4WD turbo, rally inspired vehicle. It was made to excel in adverse conditions. All the levels are checked and I make sure there is enough fuel to get back after a spirited drive. Usually my car gets around 390-430km's per full tank, start giving it some loud pedal and that figure is basically halved, so I should have just enough.
The keys come out of my pocket and I slide into the fixed bucket seat. The key slots into the ignition while I make sure the car is not in gear. My index finger and thumb work together to twist the key into position and my machine comes to life. It has a forged motor, so it doesn't sound that healthy to people not in the know. It's music to me though, the rumble of the exhaust note, the induction noise when you press the accelerator a 1/8 of the way down.
Just as the motor gets up to the correct operating temp, the sound of the motor changes. It losses It's edge and starts to purr. I proceed to back the car out of the garage and down the drive. I then perform a 'dance of angles' to get the car onto the ramps that give me access to the street. These two planks of wood are the only things stopping my front bumper from ripping off as It's 'pretty low'.
I look back at my house and think of my family. I love them with all my heart and look forward to seeing them soon. I engage first gear and depress the clutch and I am away. When I drive my other car (my daily) It's a pretty straight forward experience. It gets me to where I need to go, hassle free. It's a 2005 Nissan Murano I highly recommend it, The VQ35DE motor is brilliant on the open road, handles well for a SUV and is practicality plus. When I get into my car though... The senses are stirred. It feels like at any point in time something epic is about to happen. Mundane roads come to life, recommended speeds signs seem to have been made for people driving a horse cart. I think about what I want the car to do and it just does it, it accelerates the way I want, brakes how i'd like and turns as if it was an extension of my brain. It brings out a sense of heightened joy/excitement and fight in your being.
As I approach the stretch of road I wanted to have a decent drive on, I check all my mirrors to see if anyone else is around. I also scan the twisty, winding, hill road ahead, no signs of life whatsoever. The average conditions would have everyone else in their cosy households on their cushy armchairs. So here I am, just me vs the road. I've spent the better part of a decade developing the car to handle this specific piece of tarmac. It's hard to explain the feeling this brings out in me, as car people you may understand it, in fact if you don't understand it you probably don't belong anywhere near this tribe.
It's go time, nothing else matters, corner after corner, the car feels like it could pull a large tree stump out of the ground. Even in the damp conditions the tyres are doing their job, the car brakes on a dime and seems as nimble as a housefly. For the next five minutes, road markers become a blur, the scenery an afterthought. All that has meaning now is the next corner and the best line to take to carry speed to the next. The car is in It's sweet spot and I'm in the zone. In a world that is mayhem, these five minutes make life seem so simple. I don't have the burdens of my everyday world on my shoulders. I am in control and It's absolute bliss.
I reach the top of peak in what seems the blink of an eye and have a quick look at all the gauges. They all read within my mechanics recommended tolerances. The car is still on as the turbo timer winds down, I then jump out of the car. It's late at night and there are no street lights here, but with the headlights on I can just make out the silhouette of the car. I think back and look at the mods and wonder what I can do next to add to the experience. At that point I'm thinking not a hell of a lot. If I add more power, there will be a ton more mods I'll have to do to support the extra kW's.
I was blown away at the grip of the tyres in the conditions they weren't supposed to handle well in. The new pads really started to bite after the got a bit of heat in them, and the motor sounded on song. As I sit there for a while thinking about the surroundings, the hills, the way this road was put together. For all I know it was a like-minded individual that designed the road. When that person penned the road were they thinking 'hard right straightens into long easy left'.
I look at some of the stars that break through the clouds as they pass over my head. To have found something to do that makes me feel the way it does is a blessing. All the time, effort and money spent making the car go the way it does and look the way I love, pales in comparison to how it makes me feel at this very moment. Vin in The Fast and The Furious talks about how for those 10seconds or less he is free when he drag races. To a non-car person that dialogue is meaningless, almost stupid and makes little sense. As a car person there is almost no truer words. Those times in your car driving it like it was set-up to be driven, you are in control, nothing else matters. You are free.
I think back to the election and the angry people, the people upset at the result, eyes filled with rage and angry at the world. Here I am in the middle of no-where in a near state of nirvana from doing something as meaningless as going for a drive. The thought crosses my mind... Maybe those angry people just haven't found the right car yet.