ell mechanized, penchant breathed man pulls from his allotted visitor’s spot in smooth slow semicircled curve. The handgear joint slides from reverse to neutral as the encapsulated interior air shudders under a great exhale. Hand and stick shift into first as he feels his first sense of reprieve, an option of escape from the unnerving scene which he has just exited. With a smooth feeding of gas and a loosening of the clutch, the engine warms to a nice ready steady hum as he completes his checkmark start. Following is the tedious navigation of speed bump arrays and channel routed delays through the orderly rowed cars and square blocked apartments of the vast carpark encampment while his thoughts simmer down, settle out and the feeling of motion and stifled revs soak his bones. His name is Nunzi. His car is a Saab. And he has just discovered how deep the shit he is in is.
      At the security gate, the last obstacle to the road, the spikes lay back submissively yet offer quickly sharp teeth of no retreat. The barrier arm falling behind. The signal of a starting gun. And the man, the car and his anxiety-fueled thoughts are off! Off with the Wherethehelltonow taking the start and wherethehelltastaytonight coming up quick on the straightaway while howthefuckamigonnaget2k falling behind here a little bit here on the curve and it looks like ijustneedtafuckindrive is coming up around the corner and closing the gap and yes… yes… its taking the lead grabbing up the distance in short gasped spasms hoofing sporadically around and about in the intermittent play of horsepower between spaced lights and switched gears, jumping back and forth… up and down… through certainty and doubt.
      Otherwise it is a dark stretch of low trafficked road along a heavily stoplit and stopsigned grid of farmland and allocated storefronts that unreels his escape from the isolated apartment blocks with the slow slug of a vein toward the freeway proper and there the mainline, an existential leap, an uninhibited flow to the heart of the city.
      Finally… connecting… pausing at a red before he injects himself into the artery with a rush that exhales the frightful dreams in one great burst of exhaust and all the blurs come into focus as his senses adjust to the smog scented blacktop and its standard ten past post 75 mph. Here the darkness takes on the shape of light and the sky takes on content under the high arched florescent sentinels hung high up on the right. And Nunzi hurtles into freeway consciousness and his anxieties fall away one by one as he, belted in, joins the flow of his fellow strapped down passengers. Passengers of the road, each knotted to their own, yet so often unaware of the communal river they share. Unaware of this viaduct of modern conduct. Where with their maneuvers apportioned to lights, signs, the physics of kinetics; their manners respecting distance, speed and appropriate signal-ings, the passing motorist becomes our most casual pedestrian, silent and sentient upon these broad ribbons of scapeways.
      Rolling down the window, a little more at ease now, the last of Buddy’s breath whips off, out and away under the warm heavy vent. Leaving only the wind in his hair and the last of the tension, the voice, ringing through his ear “You’re fucking loosing it nunzi, you are sooo fucking loosing it.” Nunzi shrugged those words off when they were said not more than half an hour ago, but they still hung on like the reverberation of a misbalanced wheel or some haunting suspicion of an insecure frame. Sure. Coke ain’t free. He knew that. Shit, everyone knows that, but they had had a deal, a reduced familiar rate, an unspoken understanding. Something no longer existent when his shrug was not reacted upon well, not reacted upon well at all and the .45 barrel shoved into his mouth signaled clearly that all the previous arrangements were now canceled. “None of your shit talk now nunzi. Not now not ever. Just two grand as that’s what I see you owe me. And whatever delusions you had of you being buddy’s buddy, are now and forever permanently deceased. Understand?” To this he could only nod. His teeth clinking on the metal as he decides, if he ever gets out of this one, never to mix business with pleasure again.
      Faster now in hot air under hot breath, floating taut above the speed limit in a steady run, its warm life-giving hum. The voice, the tension “Not now, not ever” tapering off… finally… as the lane lines fly by. He finds the speed calming coming on not too fast, not too slow, though well above that of the sparse flow. Motoring in the middle he feels safe on this asphalt river and its concrete bordered roar of engines, not ready for the edges, still not sure which one will coax his mood, not sure at which point he will exit. Not sure of anything quite yet. He simply lets the vibrations of air and rubber rise up through the metal floor and touch him.
      He finds an optimum velocity in doing so… in letting himself go…  his mind perfectly balanced with motion. His sense of self now fully integrated with the patterns and movements of the herd. The sensorium itself spanning back… reaching forward… feeling out to the sides… encompassing an entire stretch of road… entering the imaginative dimensions of propulsion where acceleration delays the involvement of time proportioned to the intake of space and the consequential creation of lag. Where the instant is perceived as a line of headlights captured in slow shuttered photography stills and the motorist may speed off ahead and away from his very soul.
      Suddenly he hears the belated sound of horns, a dying animal’s lament as taillights flare and all shifts toward a slow-motion ontology as Nunzi enters the gnarled-up traffic ahead. Where the steady lights brighten to a glare. Where his vehicular neighbors and he are vised slowly into the far lane.  Where he catches a glimpse up beyond, between the shifting spaces, of a flipped and twisted leaf like wreckage and recognizes instantly the corpse of his own car. The same model, the same year, the same aqua black blue color. His own dreams wrinkled, crushed before him. It hurts. A sight that stings as the similar make signals a lifetime of decision and identification—almost a life at least—of meditative leafing through Auto-traders, newspapers and weeklies. So much obsessive searching, he reflected rolling slowly; if he’d spent as much time on getting dressed, he’d be free from all social interaction. But that’s how it was in his formative years, until he found that frame whose shape spoke unto him, mirrored in reconcilable likeness his very idea of motion. He had found it in the showy eurosleek Saab 96 of 1980, the last of the bullnose run, had chosen it to be his psychic carriage. Sure there were others, many others and the Saab 99 had been a close runner-up, but in the end, after all the deliberation it was only the 96 that danced before him, around him and with his own integrity.
      His fondness for it grew, as positive reinforcement goes, over time, as it was eventually acquired and further decked with 3-dual spoke 7.5 x 17 chromed wheels, still freshly polished and augmented from full wheel locking system to valve stem covers. The interior accented with the burled walnut dash treatment, sporty, subtle, sophisticated even down to the matching shift handle. Leather seats reupholstered with just the right complementary color of smoke gray that took months of shopping to find and the steering wheel he’d surfed days for and had to have shipped from Missouri to complete the composition. The exterior glamourously wore a black pearl grill broken by blue halogen headlights and a rear bridge spoiler sided with smoke colored turn signals. And undersuited with a sports exhaust system 9-5 with its low frequency resonance high polished anglecut (rolled end) double walled exhaust tip which he had to have modified for his older model. And the hand painted decor panel, and the all season floor mats, the Japanese style cup holder, the electronically heated seat with its cooled secret dope stash, and, of course, the alpine quadraphonic CD system which at the moment was silent, as he jockeyed for position through the stalled competitive traffic.
      He’d savored this process of selection and outfitting. His enchantment with his sole auto product defined his eccentricity, battled his sense of alienation. And the result would be his own extension, his own private space. Something he’d come to value all the more these last few weeks as Wendy, Buddy’s sister, cold-shouldered him from her bed. Though having taken to his car instead of the couch may not have helped, he considered. Running from one dependency to the other, but it was on account of the first, this intrasibling reliance that had landed him in so much shit. Having for over a year been cut a substantial discount on Brother Buddy’s consistent but cut coke supply.
      That all ended today, though. And the temperamental ex in-law wanted payback. Much of which Nunzi feels to be undeserved as he inches toward the airless innocence of the car crash. There is something optimistic in it, in the manner he is removed from it. A feeling that grows stronger the closer he approaches. Feeling no more than an observer, a witness to the violent play of metallic smash. His fear of anticipation, expectation, the responsibility of participation, eased as he reconstructed in his mind a veer, a brake, a sounding of horns, an underlying sense of betrayal, a thoughtless gesture, an incalculable error… something, anything gone terribly wrong.
      He is right on it now, squeezing by between red lights ahead and bright eyed bumpers behind, spinning blues and reds coming in celebration from somewhere still far off. The headlights of his overturned double Saab cutting across the one lane of passing traffic, right through his window, right through him, onto the chain linked lip of the concrete parapet, illuminating the rapid movement of the opposite bound traffic. The light itself some strange purgatory passage. Beyond its source he feels the crushed skull of the rollover, the cold blood pooling. Past that he can just make out the other car up on the embankment among the bushes; nothing more then a shadow in which ghosts wander about, broken, holding their heads and limbs between others who have stopped in the performance of civic and curious duties.
      He is deliberate in his movements when finally clear of the tangled metal and splashed glass. The headlights in his mirrors frame his departure zone as rocket ignition flames. The cars ahead thin out, their taillights as red eyed demons inviting him to follow. And he is off, straight to the middle. First gear, a hesitated revving up to optimal warmth. Second breaking the rules, cutting off a suburban with a dashing angular cut. Third letting loose as the engine starts to scream rpms, his lips pull back baring teeth. And at four, he is free, he has nothing but his propelled self and they have nothing on him.
      He is coming into familiar stretches now, coming up fast to where the steetnames resonate with lifelong memories: Baseline, Miracle Mile, Dreamy Draw, Aspiration Blvd. That first one there deserving more then a mere regard, for Baseline leads to Nacido, his first street, the address of his childhood; still home to the folks in its last in-branched cul de sac. The dead end that had held him captive until he was sixteen. There was no life before sixteen. Only waiting in a large house with a garage and a spare car. The car he’d crash years later, one of the many ingredients that precipitated up to his disownment. The one whose absence and subsequent dependence on lead to his coke dealing in order to fix his inbred desire for automated individuality.
      No Turning Here! A No Exit that leads down childish memory lanes and family chat drives and no thru ways. Past patronizing father son talks, along disappointed motherly frowns, circling and circling harrowed sibling rivalries never to be equalized. There is no acceleration on those streets, only a constant pressure. Nunzi drives on. 
      Coming up on Apache now, whose wide avenue, funny enough, is home to the house of Johnny Wickiup, one of his earliest friends. A strange delinquent who had learned his mechanics and autos on the San Juan rez and had harbored that peculiar tribal trait of referring to a car’s anatomy as that of one’s own body. A speeded out motor head whose arms where always covered in fat and had subjointed his dialogue with how his lungs needed flushing, his liver a recharge, a short in his veins, or the work needed to mend a crack in his heart. He’d take you for a ride but his stomach was always hungry.
      Ah ol’ Johnny, Nunzi reminisces, surely he’s moved along by now, he further dismisses. No hope of finding him out there among all those dead houses and naked streets. And it is more of the same through this particular stretch of highway here where his friends, other friends and more friends hidden beyond the darkness of the roaded banks. Friends lost to addiction, friends lost to bizness, friends lost to neglect, friends lost to betrayal, friends lost because they were never friends in the first place. More and more of such streets, their exits tracing themselves out off existence until he sees the approaching Price, the one that leads home, the one that leads to Wendy, to one last chance. Where with graceful gestures of apology, longing looks of sympathy, hopeful haunts of reconciliations there might be a string of false, fake and phony fucks fueled by unwanted longings. His eyes angle toward this last escape, his hands and feet rolling into the far lane, almost unaware, merely winking towards the intention as the car, now confused with his own body, responds to the muted drives. Yet, it is already too late, cut off by a gutsy Ford 350… a great hulk floored… no challenging that monster, no chance of squeezing through. Though, however abrupt and rude the passing cut of his neighbor, Nunzi cedes with no hint of anger, even feels a bit honored by the warning blink of its flyby grunt; a gesture more authentic then any word ever spoken to him. And with that bulky deliverer from temptation gone off on the ramp of his own dead end destiny, he knows this to be true as all traffic dissipates before him.
      And with the concrete vestiges of that last escape falling from sight he rides onto the high curve of an overpass; where unlike the straightaway, the line, lies a tension. A good taut tension, like the gentle bend of an erection. Where only the whip of the wind is left to caress his hard-shelled skin which shoots off, finally, onto the unfurled pavement of an empty interstate like ejected detritus doing nearly ninety. Free from the hub of traffic waves, its cyclic rinsing, its vital spin, its awful whorl. In this sense he cruises through the converging space as a lost ghost forever to haunt the pavement, the sun never to rise, never to run out of gas, never remembering the crash.