A few years ago, I was listening to Avicii’s latest trance/dance mix in my Lexus RX450 Hybrid, driving to San Diego on one of my typical road trips where I packed the car up and was just enjoying the time off work without a care in the world.
I was going fast.
Lexi (the plural form of a Lexus) love speed and have a tendency to ease the driver into a sense of comfort at high speeds by dampening pretty much all external noise which could give away the high speeds to the driver.
Combined with a wonderful sound system, and extremely comfortable leather seats as well as powerful air conditioning which made the sweltering desert heat in the middle of summer seem like it was a world away, while I know this is sounding like marketing propaganda, I promise you, I simply enjoyed the ride. I loved my Lexus.
If my Lexus had been a woman I would have made love to it. Every night.
But I digress.
I was going fast.
I didn’t know how fast.
A million times before (that’s an exaggeration, but it certainly felt like it) – I’d taken these long and lonely highways all across the nation where speed limits were artificially limited to arbitrarily slow speeds which if you got out, you could walk faster.
That’s another exaggeration.
But you get the point.
And as I was playing ‘Avicii’s Fade into Darkness’ – I flew low by an overpass in which a police officer was parked on the opposite side of it behind some bushes.
Slammed back into reality, I looked at my speedometer.
I was pushing 130 miles per hour.
It was the first time I’d not felt panic when seeing the lights of a police car turn on behind me.
I passed a speed limit sign.
I was doubling it, as it said 65 miles per hour.
I caught myself smiling, as I’d been caught by surprise, but I just considered two things.
I pull over. And I’m surely getting a ticket.
Or I pretend. I act like I didn’t see the officer and lights. I just maintain course. And inevitably they’ll catch me, but I can always play dumb and use the ‘in the moment’ response of the music as the excuse.
Oh, I knew it was lame. But in truth. On the million times I’d taken these roads before, I’d always wanted to drive the speed that felt comfortable to me as high speeds always did, and that made it easy to get to my destination in half the time.
“Fuck it,” I said out loud.
And I kept going.
The lights disappeared over the horizon behind me.
His cruiser couldn’t keep up.
I kept driving. And after a while, I wondered if he’d given up.
About an hour later, as I was approaching the border of California in literally half the time I’d normally taken to get there, on either side of the road in the emergency lane were two police cars with lights on, and as I approached, they sped up quickly in the emergency lane making it clear I was their target.
My heart leapt a little, as I quickly pulled over.
I rolled down all the windows, pulled the keys out of the ignition, placed them on the dashboard and placed my hands there.
The last thing in the world I wanted was for them to perceive me as a threat as they approached my Lexus on either side, so I just made sure I lowered my threat foot print as much as possible with everything I did.
They walked up.
And I got to do the whole drunk/drug test, to which I wasn’t on anything other than a little adrenaline kick thanks to Avicii, high speeds, and a police car I’d blown by at 130 miles per hours.
Which gave the police one of two options.
They knew, like I did – that these roads are long. Straight. wide. And very, very boring.
I knew they took their job in part because they liked going fast in their cruisers. I’ve talked to enough police officers to learn this stereotype among police officers is pretty valid.
So here they had someone who was going fast. In a safe way. Supposedly Unknowingly.
Or at least I put on an act to make it seem true.
So – do you arrest someone like me and levy me with thousands of dollars in insurance costs, fines, and the suspension of my driver’s license and more because I was doing something they themselves enjoy doing?
As the officer wrote up a warning, asking me to pay attention to my speed.
I thanked him for his leniency.
Too my warning, and held it as a prize, it actually had the speed I was going at on it.
And I then waited until I crossed the border before resuming my trip at high speeds again.
Did you know the meter is dependent on the speed of light?
According to the definition of the meter, if light didn’t exist, the meter would lose it’s definition.
Conversely, the American foot is dependent on the length of a human foot.
Incidentally, my Lexus was stolen on the border of Mexico about 3 months later in Calexico, which contained about 25k worth of personal items in the vehicle when it was stolen including a prized passport which was filled with stamps from around the world.
I’d been going through a severe mental breakdown which led to some extenuating circumstances where I learned the police in Calexico didn’t take ‘walk in’ police reports after business hours. I had a flight out the next day where I couldn’t file a police report – because – again – business hours. So ultimately, I lost the car.
I tried filing the police report online or by phone.
But Calexico refused to take police reports unless I was in person.
And days after the car was stolen.
Someone passed through a red light camera which is on the books in Calexico so there should be a nice little picture of who stole it.
But with the remote nature of Calexico….
It’s not exactly something a now homeless man can afford to go to – just to file a police report.
I’d obtained the vehicle through a loan from Capital One. And while I explained to Capital One that I’d had the car stolen and where, they refused to accept my word and demanded a police report.
For nearly a year afterwards, Capital One hired a towing company to follow me around with a tow truck when I was living at my parents in Vancouver, Washington, hoping they’d find the vehicle I’d not had money to make payments on.
I loved that car.
But being homeless.
While it would make a wonderful and classy small home.
I can’t afford it.
I’m wondering if the title’s transferred hands and how that – legally – could have happened if it did.
Here’s me with the car when I got it in Shreveport, LA way back in 2008/2009.