Back when I was 27 and stupid enough to think I knew how the world worked, I set a goal for myself: I would own a Porsche 911 by the time I turned 30. It would be dark blue with a tan interior. It would be a coupe--because convertibles are an engineering exercise in compromising everything for nothing.
It would have three pedals and when I opened the front trunk, I would find all the things I’ve always wanted--purpose, magnanimity, elementary social skills.
But a year later, I realized that even 911s get scratched. They get hit by drunks. They chew through tires and clutches and brake pads and you kill them just a little bit every time you crank them up. They’re made from galvanized steel by the finest craftsmen in the world and they fall apart like everything else.
It should’ve hurt to reach this conclusion, but it didn’t. I guess you just can’t help but laugh when you stumble across the flat circle of time. What are you going to do about it, anyway?
Fortunately, I’d transcended the plane of consumerism before cutting a five figure check--before exchanging thirty thousand dollars for two keys and infinite disappointment. So I took that money and I set a new goal: every year, I'd travel at least 25,000 miles--the circumference of the earth. For the most part, I only count air travel because it’s easier to tabulate. Besides, what screams “look at this first world, navy blue bag of dicks” more authoritatively than keeping a chart of airport codes and distances?
Last year, I accomplished my goal in October. I was on my way to Brooklyn with Josh, my best friend, to see a phenomenally talented band called Sheer Mag. They switched venues on the day of the show. It was almost disastrous, but a friend of our AirBnB host had recently sent her ten pounds of Twizzlers as some sort of joke-by-inundation, so we stood on the street corner and pulled one red, delicious long boy after another from our coat pockets and waited for the emergency crosstown Uber (is there another kind?).
Note: after we spent 96 hours ingesting at least three pounds of Twizzlers (I sincerely wish I were exaggerating) inside of bars, subways, thrift shops, and at least four art galleries, Josh went home and Amazon Prime-d another five pounds of Twizzler Swifts to Angela, our fantastic AirBnB host. She is a gracious woman of infinite tact who, despite intercepting us stuffing our backpacks full of loose Twizzlers on multiple occasions, refused to shame her guests.
Anyway, it took 10 months to break the 25k mile barrier last year.
This year, on April 17, somewhere over the icy graveyard of the North Atlantic, I checked the arbitrary and magical box. But I didn't notice. I was hurtling towards London and a terribly impulsive second date. I remained oblivious for three entire weeks.
Until this morning, when an Aston Martin DB9 came down the boulevard
The DB9 is one of those cars that makes you chew on your fist when you see it. You don’t care what it costs or how fast it isn’t. You just know that there’s a bit of eternity in those hips and so you watch it pass by.
It purred down the damp street and my eyes followed.
But once it was out of sight, I wondered if the driver found all the things he wanted in the trunk.