11:AM, merged my yellow convertible Tracker onto 405 South at Long Beach, gliding between southbound vehicles at 70-75mph through 4 lanes to center lane 100 yards behind a gold Toyota, adjusting the brim of a leather cowboy hat shading my eyes from hot, glaring, summer sun, check the rearview for CHP. Sounds of traffic and wind noise roar with occasional subsonic gusts, penetrated by low bass and treble sounds, when passing trucks.
Without audible change, a flash of fire engine red, inset, a hot yellow-orange flame sweeps from behind me into peripheral vision, sliding into the lane in front of me, while my circuits cycle about the sex of the driver. Shoulder length curls twisting in the breeze.
Undifferentiated tumbling sounds of wind and tires make me feel like the visual scene’s in slow motion as we hurtle down the highway at 80mph. Narcissistic man or sexy assertive female blowing me off in the convertible red Mustang GT500? Easing the accelerator down to 85, drifting through a gap to a lane opening up two ticks later downstream and, as if soundless, floating by, I see the woman, maybe 40, hotter than the Cobra she drives as cool as Kurt Busch at Richmond.
Having negotiated these freeways since forever, even with 25% of the power of her Cobra, my ’92 Geo passes, leaving her just behind every time she tries to take the lead—or is she flirting? Into Lake Forest, she puts her foot down, seconds later, she’s a mile ahead. I decide to let her know whose really boss, let Tracker have 85, then 90, taking advantage of every opportunity. Reaching the turn at Dana Point, her lead is ¼ mile, into San Clemente, 200 yards. Suddenly, a silent explosion of brown dust kicks up at the road side, just past Christianos. A patrol car fish-tails into traffic wildly as the CHP dives into traffic like an Osprey after it’s prey. The quarry wouldn’t be mine, not today.