Wow. It’s damn early, 7:30 A.M. Saturday, and I roll up the blinds. It’s a beautiful day, 58 degrees, a light wind, and I hear it; a low rumble grows in intensity as it approaches. Is it another obnoxious Hog faux-born-to-be-wild retiree or a rare, rusty old beat down coupe in need of a muffler?
No, whoa, I’ve not seen power like it in 15 or so years, and rarely anything comparable in San Francisco. It is an anti-Mickey Mouse pedal car; it is a Ed Roth rocket sled. A ’59 Chevy Corvette Roadster convertible with black leather covers, flat baby blue paint, driver side roll bar, double wide slicks in the back and skinnies on the front with no engine hood, because a massive Rat Fink chrome blower rises out of the engine compartment. After it inches to the stop sign, the driver steps lightly on the throttle, and it’s Thor’s thunder as the blower shakes and stands up like Godzilla rising out of the Pacific. And the driver, she’s got my attention; she a twenty-something blonde, stout, pink gimme cap, aviators, a casual smile like Tweety to Sylvester, a sleeveless white silk blouse, and a dragon tattoo on her right upper arm.
In imagination and memory, I can smell high-octane, burnt rubber, tar and feel the heat off summer soft two-lane asphalt and engine oil. Right hand on the wheel she eases the turn on the cross street at the corner, and as my drop-jaw wide-eye glance follows; I am tempted to race downstairs for a closer look. Is it Dad’s, a boyfriend/girlfriend’s, or hers? WTFC, in 20 seconds, a causal random moment, she’s renewed my lust for life.
I’ve said it before, and again and again, I love this city. Its diverse culture never disappoints.