Tony and his car.
That was the combo. We used to watch him racing when we could. Clandestine, dangerous races in bad places of mostly stupid college kids that could do very bad things when inebriated.
I had the luck of being light enough (around ninety pounds) to be a passenger in his car. He was also around one hundred pounds and between the two of us the weight was pretty much that of a normal man. So I raced with him a few times. I didn’t enjoyed anything more. Not alcohol, or dancing. I was still a virgin, but racing was way better than sex. Nothing was as amazing as racing.
It wasn’t even the adrenaline, I felt pure joy. Before the race, when we would speak very softly as if not to stir the luck awaiting. During the race when we would both purposefully fully relax our bodies and let go both because we were letting the energy flow in and around us and because in case of collision it gave our bodies the best chance of survival. After the race with our hearts beating fast, while I was screaming and cheering, fist pounding in the air.
It was my very favorite thing, racing. And I never told him. In all our years in college together, when he started working in the company I worked years after. A few months ago when I saw him a Sunday in church – of all places -, with his three beautiful kids and his mom, all sobered up and serious. I never said anything about how he gave me some of the best memories I have.
But I do remember.