“You ready?,” I barked out as I opened the rear driver’s side door and tossed the case of RedBull and carton of Camel Lights on the creamy leather seats. “Hell yeah!,” my cousin responded, hanging up the handle on the pump of 93 and hopping in the passenger seat. Clutch in, turn the key, and our ears were greeted with an “I am too” from the custom exhaust tucked underneath us. We pulled onto I-75 North at 8:15 on this crisp and cool October Friday night.
We arrive in Nashville just under three hours to pick up the money and further instructions. “You’re crazy, bro,” said Eric with his hand outstretched to shake mine after we park in his driveway. “I can’t believe you guys are actually doing this.” A hearty laughter followed this phrase of doubt from an old friend who handed over a stack of bills and a piece of paper. He had scribbled down a phone number headed by a “619” area code…cool.
Corley had always stuck by me when others thought I was doing something rediculous and stupid ever since we were kids. Chowing down on some wings, I went over the map with him. “We’re going to follow I-40 ’til we can take 35 down to Dallas,” I instructed. His eyes followed my finger sliding across the atlas, and he agreed. A fellow veteran to road trips, Corley was quick to lay the seat back and shut his eyes as I navigated west.
Pine trees, deer carcasses, and tired big rigs painted a worn and lazy landscape that was begging to be awakend. Whaaaaaabapbapbap howled from under the hood as I kept the throttle up and downshifted into fourth. The whine from the supercharger was annoucing to right lane residents that I would rather spend my Saturday sunrise here at triple digit speeds than on a couch back in Atlanta.
Six RedBulls and half a pack of Camels had disappeared when I crossed Texarkana and handed the reigns to Corley. He did the family crest proud as he kept the pace and never missed the chance to open her up. A dauntless task such as this required a stern attitude facing such a schedule. It also required an iPod full of screaming idiots to remind us sleep is not an option. “We haven’t seen a Starbucks in hours,” I complained as I crumpled up another empty pack of smokes. I was imagining what it must’ve taken from the guys that did this in wagons. At least they didn’t have to worry about Crown Vics in their rearview mirrors.
“Where you boys headed so fast?” I could practically smell the Copenhagen stains implanted next to the badge that was staring down at me. “California, sir,” I replied. I tried to explain to him that it was perfectly normal for two boys with Georgia licenses to drive a car registered to someone living in Tennessee across this great country. Precautiously placing us in the backseat of his car, he gave us the option of waiting on the dogs to arrive or letting him take a peak. The almighty clock showed it’s laughing face and I reluctantly permitted the officer to have a further look.
“Let’s keep it under a hundred, son,” he said as I got my freedom and keys back. I scratched all four tires as to kick that Texas gravel the same way a kid does on a playground with his head down after he’s been released from time out. Several expletives later, I threw that yellow copy in the back seat, hoping my insurance company wouldn’t find it. It was literally time to move on.
We arrived at San Diego International Airport at 5:10 Sunday morning according to the local clocks. I handed the keys over to the eager new owner and smoked a final cigarette before joining Corley at the gate. Thirty six hours, ten tanks of high octane, sixteen RedBulls, and three packs of Camels later, we had made it. While we were still waiting at the gate, my phone rang. “I need a truck brought from San Diego to Nashville,” said the voice on the line. I looked at Corley and asked, “You ready?”, “Hell yeah!”
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