"Never enough" I mumbled as I fumbled for the light switch, it was around 4 AM and I hadn't had any coffee yet but I knew what I had to do and it wasn't getting any earlier. I found the switch and flipped on the light…….it lit up the car and I knew I was going to be ok, hotrods and horsepower are like a drug only worse, they are legal for the most part and you are the manufacturer, the cook. I went back in and made some coffee and washed off my face while it brewed, tonight I was going to line up with the big dog and I hoped I had enough. Sipping on my coffee I thought man that is fucking hot, went back in and put some ice in it and threw in a little more milk, no sugar but I like milk or cream in my coffee damn that tastes good. I drank up and thew the cup in the sink, no coffee or drinks while driving, that was the rule.
I rolled the window down was doing about 40 or 50 and the night was perfect, good air I knew I was going to run well but as usual all the thoughts started racing through my head, did I have enough timing and was the fuel curve right, when is the last time I checked the tires all that you just have to shut out and remind yourself that you know what you are doing. I went another 10 miles and then turned into the old industrial park and saw in my headlights the other cars and them standing around. I always went by myself and thats how I liked it. I rolled up, the blower singing and the cam thumping away, Rod was standing there on my left and I knew it was him by the way he slumped over now he was right next to me, "hey Rod whats up" I asked but I knew what was up it was more of the same but I never got tired of it. "Car sounds good" he said, "you know what you are up against tonight right? That ratrod is bad, got a blown injected 440 wedge and a lenco I think, haven't looked at it real close but it sounds rad". Ok I said, no big deal been there done that, I saw it now as some of the guys backed away from my headlight shine looked to be a 33 Dodge Truck looked nice and mean just how I like em. "So where we gonna do this" asked Rod, he was lighting up a smoke and the old zippo lighter illuminated his face and eyes in a rather unsettling fashion it was not the first time I had to let my nerves settle down, this was not a game and we all knew it. "Over there" Rod gestured and I saw that we were going to line up between a couple of buildings I sure hoped I had enough room to get after it. I let the clutch out and hit the throttle the motor went up as it always does and drifted off to the right everyone in the lights ran out of the way and I heard a few people scream, fuck yeah I love that I grabbed second and then third and got it really sideways then let out of it, ok enough fun for now I almost hit that chick back there trying to get out of the way.
Second felt great I watched the tach go to 8500 then grabbed third, nice, I am hooked up and flying now at 6200 and climbing I stay in it, I saw him fade and now the buildings are turning into a blur in the headlights I am flying, I grab 4th and hang on now it is leaning out as it should and it is pulling like crazy, ok 5th and up to 8000 I don't see him and I get out of it and put it in neutral, all I hear is the wind and the sound of the road and the motor ticking from the heat. I coast to a stop and here he comes not far behind but behind, get it? We both sit there awhile then I fire up and drive back to the start. Rod is standing there in my headlights with a cig and a beer and he ushers me over beside him. "Not bad, I thought he had you but you pulled him, it was closer than you thought" he said, but he always said that, I laughed and asked him how close. He said he wasn't sure but it really was close. I told him to fuck off and give me my money. He glared at me and reached in his pocket and pulled out a wad of bills, I grabbed it from him and said "thanks". He said one of these days I was going to have to pay and he was looking forward to that day, I saw his eyes in my dashilghts and they were not friendly, he wasn't kidding and I had to keep my cool. I shook it off and went home what an asshole. I couldn't stop thinking about that, the way Rod looked at me, he was ok I always thought, not someone I could be friends with but ok but lately he seemed put off by my success. Rod had the 50's thing going on, slicked back hair, white tshirt with a pack rolled in his sleeve, black leather jacket, "go cat go" I used to tell him but he didn't laugh, who cares I thought it was funny. I went back home and wrote the date into my book I keep, I keep a record of all my races, it is what I do, race and sleep, sleep sometimes.
I always wondered what they were up to, I didnt hang around with them and I met them in a rather weird way, one night I was coming home from a race and took the backroads, it was paved but barely and after awhile I thought about turning back because it was so dark and the road started to deteriorate, it was the road out past the bridge on the north end of the lake and it was really dark and not much out there I have no idea what compelled me to go that way but I was sorry I did. I was pretty much lost but knew my way back, finally found a drive it looked like an entrance to a field, i pulled in real slow so as not to scrape my oil pan and then backed up and drove back out and there they were in my headlights.
I pulled up next to the car with my passenger window down and nervously said "you guys need some help?", "where did you come from I just drove by here". The guy i would learn to know as Rod turned around with a grin and said "hey cat, thanks for stopping, we saw you drive by and were wondering if you were gonna stop". He seemed nice but strange but then again it was late and dark, I laughed to myself, isn't everything strange. I pulled ahead of them shut off the Camaro and walked back there, it was a nice looking black 32 three window and I could see it was built. "So what the fuck is the malfunction here" I said, trying to be funny as usual, Rod put out his hand and said "hey cat, I am Rod". I said hey but didn't offer up my name and who are your buddies? The guy inside under the dash with the flashlight came out and shook my hand and so did the guy back in the dark, no idea what he was doing back there with no light. They didn't give a name just said hey nice to meet ya in a nice way and I was ok with all that.
"Looks like the coil wire is burned" I yelled out, I found it with the dim old piece of shit flashlight they had. Rod came around fast and grabbed the flashlight and looked at it closely, after a few minutes he looked at me and said "sure as fuck is Bry". I was startled by that and defensively asked him how he knew my name, I was kind of embarrassed at how it affected me but it really threw me off. Rod just laughed and asked me how we were going to get moving now that we knew the problem, "hey cat, whats the plan"? he asked me. Fast forward an hour later, with the help of Rod's knife (a nice switchblade, who carries those?) we stole an 8" section of 10 gauge wire from his wiring harness and improvised a coil wire, the car lit right up and sounded fine. I was tired and asked Rod what they were doing out here anyway and he said they were looking for old graveyards. I laughed but he didn't and his buddies just looked at me, I said see ya and went for my car and I heard them thank me behind me as I walked away. I thought "you guys could have fixed it". That night I had the strangest dreams, I dreamt I had a dark visitor, I couldn't see his face but I let him in and he sat in my living room and we talked, I am not sure what we talked about but I remember him saying "hey Bry, you know that when we die we can still do things that we liked to do in life?" Thats all i remember but it was real and vivid and it freaked me out.
The next day I drove back out there, past the bridge on the road where I met those guys. I drove by the spot where I met them, nothing weird here and everything looked different in the light.
A week later I was racing a car outside of town and I beat him. I was driving home in the dark and this car gets right up on my ass, I could see by the headlights that it was a street rod. I slowed down and it slowed down. I sped up and it stayed right with me, I even hit my brakes but it just hit its brakes too at the same time. It pissed me off I have no idea what the fuck this is. Then it faded back and the headlights just went away. "Fucking asshole" I mumbled, and that night I had strange dreams again. I was standing in an old graveyard and it was night, the moon was bright. I walked around and found a headstone, I could barely read the writing on it but it said "Go Cat Go" with the dates of 1930 - 1957. Thats all it said. I didn't know what was going on here but I don't care I am sick and tired of this crap.
The next day things seemed better, I woke up around 4 AM, went out and raced a Mustang and barely beat it but it was all good, fast car, I didn't meet the owner I just raced him like I always do and Rod gave me the money. He seemed put off but I just laughed and took the money. Oh, how did I get here I am sorry, you see one night a few years ago I think it was a car pulled up into my driveway late at night. I went out and it was that old coupe, and those guys I met on the backroads that night. They were in my driveway and I went out and said what the fuck and then Rod got out, he was driving, he just smiled and shook my hand. I didn't know what to think, were they here to rob me, what should I do? I was caught off guard and felt vulnerable. "Relax" said Rod, you are dead and this is where you are meant to be. "Wherever you go there you are". They all laughed. I said what do you mean, Rod said I was racing a car on that road a few years ago and crashed and died, no biggie, shit happens and it is what it is. I laughed, what a bunch of idiots I thought. Then I remembered something all of a sudden, it was like a long lost memory coming back to me and it shook me. I went inside feeling sick and I fell down as soon as I got in the door. I reached up and grabbed the book I had by the TV stand and opened it as I lay there on the floor. I had written down the dates of all the races I was in, and they all stopped at 1957. I had raced newer cars and this made no sense. Rod walked in smiling and I asked him what was really going on here. He sat down, pulled a smoke out and lit it with his lighter and blew it out. "You see………" he calmly said………"I own you cat………." you ran into me and my friends back in 1957 on that road and killed us, you were lucky to survive a few days cat but you died too……..". I laughed but I knew something was not right. Rod went on….."you were a racer and you came back and got this car and you still race, ever notice how nobody can hear you and you are all alone?" "You are gone cat, and you race every night, its like a purgatory and you owe us, you want to win and we want you to lose but you keep winning. When you get beat you can rest but that aint happening because we gave you a badass car cat and you will race every night and you will not get beat, get it?" Rod looked at me and his eyes turned pitch black. I got it Rod I said. It was almost 4 AM and it was time. "Never enough" I said to Rod, "never fast enough"…… and I stood up, Rod smiled and said "go cat, go".