Dear Driver of a mid-2000s BMW 3 Series Aggressively Weaving in and out of Traffic on I-70 this Morning,

The day started like any other. We were all cruising down the highway to hell, making our morning commute. 

When you drive the same route at the same time going to the same place each day, you start to notice that a lot of your fellow-travelers are also the same people. You can guess where they work by how they're dressed, what car they drive, and which exit they take. I've never met any of them outside of an automobile, and we've never exchanged a single word, but you get to know each other nonetheless. I even have nick-names for the people I see most often, and I imagine they probably have nicknames for me. I like to imagine that at least one of my fellow commuters refers to me as "Mr. Cool," in the privacy of their own whip, but that's probably a self-aggrandizing fantasy.

The speed limit on I-70 in the state I live is 70 mph. I like to drive 77. I know it's unlawful to drive that fast. I know it in my head, but my heart has become cold and calloused after so many years of flaunting the law. Sometimes I feel like a speeding psychopath, completely devoid of guilt or remorse. Not to make excuses, but the other commuters have been a bad influence on me. Fast Fiesta for example likes to set the cruise control at 83. She usually passes me near the same point on the highway every morning and if she doesn't it means she's late and she'll pass me further down the road doing 85... and her make-up. 

Cap'n Malibu and I drive roughly the same speed and get on at the same exit, which means we spend a lot of time together. I call him Cap'n because he's always drinking what I assume is a cappuccino, and also because his wind-burned, 50-something-year-old countenance exudes the confident, easy-going command of a veteran navigator. I don't know what his voice sounds like, but I like to imagine it's the husky croon of a well-seasoned aviator, vocal cords tuned slightly off-pitch by the thin air pumped into vintage cockpits at high altitudes. And I call him Malibu because he drives a Malibu. 

I give him a nod as I pass. He sips out of a Starbucks cup as he does every morning. He uses the cup to acknowledge my nod with a subtle toast as he does every morning. But this morning would not be like every morning.

An intruder was in our midst. And you were awesome.

I first realized something was amiss when I caught the swiftly shifting glare of xenon headlights in my rear-view mirror. Someone in a mid-2000s BMW 3 Series was passing in the right lane and then swooped back into the left just in time to narrowly miss the back left corner of a tractor trailer, cutting off a minivan which had been about to overtake said truck. I could see the expression on the face of the minivan driver in my mirrors. She seemed pretty impressed. I for one was thunder-struck by your brazen display of driving prowess. But the show didn't stop there.

As soon as you'd passed the truck it was back to the right lane for some more awe-inspiring maneuvers. An old granny in a Grand Marquis was no match for your passing skills. A teenager in a Camry? Toast. A plumber in a Dodge Sprinter work van? Doneskies. At first I thought the side-by-side tractor trailers running wolf pack would flummox you, but I shouldn't have doubted so fast. You knew what to do. Swerve frantically back and forth between the left lane and the shoulder like a formula one driver keeping his tires warm. That'll show 'em who's boss. Give them a few flashes with those powerful xenons. That combined with the withering look of disgust on your face and your wild hand gesticulations must have put the fear of God in those truckers, because not five minutes later, the trucker in the left lane had finished his pass and shrunk back over to the right lane with his proverbial tail between his cowardly legs. You cowed him like a little bitch, and then you owned him with an extra fast overtake. I saw a single tear streak down the trucker's downcast face. He knew he'd been bested by the better man on this day.

"Whooooooaaaaahhh," I said out loud. "Who is this Hannibal of the Highway, this vehicular God amongst men?"

I bet you're driving so fast because you can't wait to get home to your massive lake-side mansion and fuck your supermodel girlfriend with that massive cock of yours. I'll bet that's what's causing the urgency here- the impatience wrought by your potent, God-like masculine virility. Or maybe you're late for a board meeting at some high-powered law firm where you're planning to rapine and plunder the corporate world, perched atop your oaken chairman's seat at the head of the boardroom's inlayed table in a velvet room at the very top of a very tall, very phallic-looking skyscraper. Woe to him who sets himself against you. 

Of course, you could just be the world's best race car driver, discovered as a young prodigy and exempted from all local, state, and federal traffic ordinances by executive order from the President, who knew full well that it would be useless to try to impose such petty rules upon you, for no law made by the hands of man can constrain your driving acumen or slake your thirst for domination.

I thought all of these things, and by the time I was done thinking them you had passed me as well. Your ten-year-old BMW was now nothing more than a faint glimmer on the horizon, zig-zagging through a crowd of commoners; a speeding nobleman among the transit proletariat.

I looked over at Cap'n Malibu. He tried to wipe away the tears of joy with the back of his hand before I could see them. But I did. We laughed, half in embarrassment, half in delight. He in his car, I in mine, traveling down the highway together. I think more than anything it was a laugh of emotional release. I pointed towards the fading glint that was your BMW and shook my head as if to say, "Christ. What a show." Cap'n mouthed "he's awesome" and I could almost hear that raw, silvery voice. The Cap'n and I air high-fived from within our respective vehicles. We caught up to Fast Fiesta. She was driving slower than normal. I glanced over as we passed her. It was pretty obvious she was masturbating, and it wasn't hard to guess why.

My exit came up and I nodded a goodbye to Cap'n as our lanes split and went their separate ways. I wondered if we'd ever see the road warrior again, mounted in his shining BMW, and somehow, I thought we might.

Just kidding. Everyone thinks you're a giant tool.

Sebastian Braff


Popular Posts