FAILURE | This past weekend, I talked my wife into taking a day off work (without pay, she’s a contractor) and driving over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) to the middle of nowhere in the California high desert to volunteer at the High Desert Trails rally. To sum up a longer story which I expect to share in the next issue of Gearbox Magazine, I found myself completely fed up with cars and rally, in an existential meltdown.
WHENEVER THERE IS ANY DOUBT, THERE IS NO DOUBT
That’s the first thing they teach you. We were finally done working for the day. V was super pissed and no longer speaking to me. I was hot, dirty, tired, and standing off by myself behind one of those barricades that’s just a rope with a bunch of colored triangle “flags” hanging off it, waiting for the competitors to go by at speed in the final stage of the event. I wasn’t having a good time. In fact, I was pretty much fed up with everything.
Kris and Dan flew past in the 00 car, the Rallynotes 2G Neon. I thought about how Kris had built – and rallied – TWO different cars in the time I’ve managed to do pretty much jack shit with my Galant VR4 (which I bought less than three months after meeting Kris back at the 2005 Prescott Rally). A couple guys I didn’t know flew past at speed in a clean 1G Eagle Talon TSi. I thought about how much money I wasted building a motor for Daisy, my old 97 Talon; money I could have used to build a rally/race car I could have been enjoying these past nine years.
Before the first competitor was even on the horizon, I looked around, made sure everyone had a yellow wristband on (last minute assignment – make sure everyone was legal at the spectator location), then crossed the hot stage, walked 50 yards back to the Juke parked behind a long line of lifted trucks, fired up the AC, and closed my eyes. I was ready to walk away from all of it. But how could I produce a monthly magazine about how important playing with cars is if I’d lost the desire myself?
V followed me to the Juke. While everyone else was enjoying close to two dozen rally cars fly past at nearly 100mph (160kph), we were sitting in a Nissan Juke having an argument. Seriously. Had my automotive passion been so misguided? If not cars, what am I supposed to do? Just punch a time clock and pay bills like some kind of vacuous consumer sheep until it’s time to kick the bucket? We agreed to work up a pros vs cons list for all the automotive ideas I had and make a decision on one of them before we got home the next day. I’m going to share the findings in the next issue of GBXM, which is going to be a week or so late. GBXM isn’t going anywhere. Neither am I. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.