If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.
– Mario Andretti
Yes, Mario, you turned some tight corners at very high speeds. And so have I, for that matter. But there’s always a great fear when you start closing in on the top of the hill, because you never know what craziness is thundering up the other side and there are some bends you just can’t see around. So you just ram the throttle hard and hope you can slip your way through. When I was 16 or 17, we used to race cars around our neighborhood at night and not stop at any stop signs. We’d turn off our headlights & if we didn’t see any lights aimed down the cross streets, we’d fire on through the intersections & hope we were the only people who had the idiopathic nerve to behave this recklessly. Sometimes, things are exactly as they seem…and when you’re playing games like that, it’s not much different from playing Russian roulette. It changes the equation. It is no longer a question of if; it is a matter of time. Because sooner or later, some asshole with ideas as crazy as yours is coming full bore straight towards you with a devil’s grin and a strong potential for becoming a good friend, if the airbags work & our hearts don’t stop beating.
I’m tired, but I know that no matter how exhausted & burned down & wasted my body becomes I will not sleep for many more hours. Another, much worse, idea will invariably sink its terrible claws so deep into my brain that it will seem infinitely more appealing. & Things become horribly frightening once you come to the realization that your friends have already concluded that they can without much difficulty convince you to do nearly anything that they want you to. But that’s all bullshit too. The twitching has begun & I am beginning to feel faint, so I will consolidate my losings & fix myself some coffee. That’ll jam my nerves into complete static & buy me at least enough time to finish this assignment with a relatively clear head. After all, it’s the home stretch now. Why not give this bird one final dent in the fender? It’s still too soon to pull out of the draft, but the end is clearly visible. So why not stomp on the gas for just a little while longer. “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” Vince Lombardi said that decades ago & since then he’s really run out of Time. I don’t blame him, though. And you shouldn’t either. It was Oswald’s fault.