Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 16

   I heard that Dave had a bad seizure this morning, about an hour after I went down to work. The first time he had one it scared the heck out of me. It was sometime in the middle of the night and I had no idea of what was going on. I looked  down from my bunk as one of the guys more familiar with the situation ran over and held him in place as he shook. It leaves a person weak, laying where ever it happens and often wipes out much of what they had learned lately. What an incredibly frustrating disease it must be.
   I have been going to a near by Best buy to get on-line and today I got a reply from an old friend. He told me he is mad at me for letting this happen. Yeah, sorry about that, but I don't think you ever really knew me then. Sure, I had money and things, but I was never really happy. I guess he never understood my frustration, my pain, how miserable my life had been. He only knew the drunk and stoned, happy go lucky guy... did he ever really listen to me? Then again, he was was of the few voices from my previous life I had even heard in the last 3 months...
   Back in 1987 I was driving my Mustang north on Highway 53 on a bright fall day. It was an '86 Mustang LX with the GT options. I had pulled the GT emblems off the sides to disguise, being an LX, not may people knew just how quick for it's time it was. I used to practice my driving out in Busse woods, heading into a grove early in the morning, going all the way to the back to see if there was no one else on that road yet. If it was empty, I'd go to the entrance again, turn around, and know I now had my own private race track, well hidden by the trees from any police. Besides the square curbs that would have no mercy on my rims if I hit them, and well, the trees that would no mercy on me, I knew there was no one else I could hurt. When lunch time came at work, I'd drive behind the huge Walgreens warehouse where I was a mechanic, and practice my launches off the line. Any drive on a highway was a chance to test these skills. So there I was, heading to a buddies house to party on rote 53, the weather was clear and so was my ind for the next half hour. I was looking at the cars ahead of me, judging which cars would be going faster or slower, slicing and dicing the traffic, popping gears, feet switching from clutch to brake, the hood bouncing up to speed, down to slow, each of my limbs knowing it's duty. My eyes darting from mini van (slow) to BMW (Faster, possible challenge) to oncoming traffic and rear view mirror (possible police), how is this traffic flowing, where can I get past it? Then I come across a fellow dogfighter, an 1982 Camero, that was as skilled and crazy as I. For a few minutes after I caught up to him he led the way, predicting and finding where the traffic would open. Normally, I hate Cameros. They are the natural enemy of Mustangs, they weigh more, have less stock power and anyone that would choose one had to be questioned about his sanity. I had to give this guy his due though, a regular Camero, taking advantage of the heavy traffic, was doing every bit as good as me right now. Then we hit an open patch between the herds, a clear sky between clouds. I pull up along side him and look over to see him grinning, enjoying the sport as much as me. He was good, but his car didn't have the raw power to take me, so I show him some respect. I salute him, grab down to second gear, screech the tires at 65, and leave him behind.
   That was an '86 Mustang and now they have the new Boss 302 with well over twice the Horse power, which could be fun. There is a window at the end of one hall that looks down onto 14th Place where I go to look at cars driving by. At times other guys will join me, we talk about cars and life. I tell them of the finer points of the sports cars going by... they normally point out the luxury cars. Sigh... not many Mustangs down here on the south side of Chicago.

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