August 17, 2003

A Great Moment of Worldly Bliss

Something wonderful happened on the I-93 freeway here in Manchester today. It happened about 5:30 p.m. or so, and I was driving home after a trip to the new grocery on South Willow Street.

Now, for some reason, everything seemed so very calm this evening. Perhaps it was because the aspirin had kicked in and driven away the miserable headache I've been suffering through for days. Perhaps it was the sunny weather that finally showed up after a miserable two weeks in August, or perhaps it was that feeling of sheer contentment one has when things are going great in one's life. It probably was a combination of all those things. The long and short of it was that I felt great.

Of course, it was natural that at this Zen moment, I would come across a hideously slow motorist hogging the pass lane.

This motorist, whose fuel-efficient sedan puttered along at the traffic-jam causing speed of approximately 50 miles per hour, obviously had no business being on the road. Rather, this motorist ought to have decided to spend this Sunday afternoon at a togetherness rally or whatever it is owners of smarmy, fuel-efficient vehicles do during their down time. Instead, this motorist ended up destroying my sense of tranquility.

Because I am a proud resident of New Hampshire, I know that it is my obligation as a citizen to drive with courtesy and respect. I know I ought not give into the base instincts which I developed in California and metro Washington, and proceed to act as if my mission in life has suddenly become to run the offending vehicle off the road.

Fortunately, developments took place which stayed my baser instincts from kicking in.

For lo! what did I see in the rear-view mirror but a baby-blue, 1960s-model Ford Mustang?

Now, I am not a fellow to get overly excited about automobiles, as good friends and relatives can attest. Still -- what a beautiful car this was. You could hear and feel the engine's strength from 100 feet away. You could just imagine riding in it and listening to its old AM radio. And as I did my duty and yielded to this motoring icon, I got a good look at the fellow driving it. Young fellow, clean-cut, probably early thirties, wearing a white T-shirt.

In that moment, I felt as if I was taken back to 1963. That was a year I never knew, but one that certainly seemed full of life and prosperity and hope for the future. A year that seemed a lot better than its counterpart forty years hence.

As I yielded, the slowpoke that had been in front of me also gave way. I saw my chance and took it, shifting back into the pass lane and slamming on my Ford's accelerator. As the needle hit seventy, I felt my Zen-like calm return. And as I shot forward towards home, I thought to myself -- there's just nothing like a good drive, is there?

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 17, 2003 08:32 PM | TrackBack

There are few things that beat a good drive and not all of them are meant to be shared.

Like moving over for a red '94 Viper RT/10 and then realizing that the car behind it was a yellow '96 Viper GTS-R...OOOoohhh...

And then proceding to watch them race each other home. :)

Posted by: Ravenwolf at August 18, 2003 12:00 PM

Something better than a good drive: a good ride on a good motorcycle.

Posted by: Kevin White at August 18, 2003 03:41 PM