Saturday, May 1, 2010

Surge


I was on my way to Bridgeport, Connecticut down I-95 S to drop a friend off belting my ever faithful 1999 Corolla along at a steady not-so-low speed of 75 mph (about 120 kmph) in a 45-65 mph specified zone. It was early on a Sunday evening and fellow cars on the road headed down to New York City were proceeding along at a similar speed knowing that no cop was going to lose his hair over this minor infringement of the speed limit and come after them. I had been on this journey a number of times before; every curve of the freeway and even the massive 18 wheelers that made up most of the traffic on weekends were pretty familiar to me. Like the sun was losing interest in the activities of that part of the world, so too was I, almost hypnotized by the unwavering repetitiveness of this particular drive.

Then... a ghost whipped by the driver side's window, leaning right into the path of my car and then racing ahead to lean in and out of all the cars that lay ahead. There's no other sound like it in the world. The super-short whine of a super-powerful machine zipping past your car so fast that in comparison, you seem to be standing still. And then, another ghost flashed by and then another. Sport's biker gang, alert! A few yellow Suzuki Bandits, a couple of lime green Kawasaki Ninjas, a lone Hayabusa and a few more monsters of the two-wheeled variety - all may even have been apparitions for the minimal length of time that they remained within our eyesight. Dancing, weaving taillights; muscled steel bodies, engines powered by hell and speeds ensuring that whatever else happens, the motorcycles would get you there quick... really quick.

My hands on the wheel were trembling for quite a few seconds after the last of the motorcycle gang had whizzed past. It was impossible to keep up with them, for us, all those imprisoned by the curse of 4 wheels. It was some kind of a joke that we even tried. But the speed demons had left behind a black hole, a warp zone which sucked all of us trailing them into upping our average speeds by a good 15-20 mph more for a significant while before we realized the futility of our wishes. No car on the road right there and then on that section of I-95 S could claim to have fought off this sudden yield to temptation. Still the Devil cackled in our ears, urging us to heed the message that he had sent out to all of us on the road in his own inimitable way. Surge.
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[Do not be foolish enough to consider everything stated above as an incentive to speed. Drive and ride safe. Reach home. Alive. With all limbs in their respective places. Let others on the road do so too. Please.]
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