The red light above glows peacefully as I sit below, patiently waiting to take off once again. My donuts eagerly lay beside me, steaming, hoping to be eaten soon. I reach over to make sure the box of donuts is beside me; it still is.
I look up to see the bright light above flip from that peaceful red to a long awaited green. Clutch in, stick left then up, first gear. I rev high as my looming foot presses down on the gas and my other calmly lifts off the clutch; as I’m doing so I embrace the the growl of my inline 6 spinning faster and faster. The sound fills my ears; I’m in a trance. Behind my angry growling engine there is this buzzing; it too is growing exponentially in sound. “Is that a weedwhacker?” I whisper in confusion. I look left, nothing. I look right and my question is answered. On my right side is a blacked out Honda Civic, it’s exhaust sounding like it cost $50 at the most. Time slows down to a halt as the owner of the civic looks over at my vehicle and our eyes lock.
My 6 cylinders spin as fast as they can, quickly red-lining; clutch in, stick held left and back, clutch out, second gear. My once growling engine quiets to a hum as I sense the Civic owner shift up as well. He starts to pull away but I won’t let him. The road tightly shifts back and forth disallowing either of us to shift up. The tension from the winding roads dies as quick as it grew; the road straightens out and plastic mates with fabric as my pedal sinks beyond what I thought possible.
Once again my cylinders spin as fast as they can, eagerly wanting me to shift as they squeeze out every ounce of power they have. The Civic beside me is slowly pacing ahead despite that his engine is currently no louder than a hum. Despite my shock in the Civic’s performance, I impatiently shove my clutch in, shove the stick up after it centers, and quickly release the clutch. Third gear. The street becomes a race track and all I can think is to floor it on this straightaway ahead of me. I do just that; my pedal slams to the ground and my front end lifts up slightly similar to that of a paper catching a breeze indoors. The Civic starts to fall behind and my adrenaline filled head gets pumped with dopamine, success. I look behind again to see him slowing down as he is holding the clutch trying to put his Civic in gear. My heart pounds as I see him fall behind and hear the excited roar that my engine has developed. Suddenly, I can practically see his clutch pedal go up as to car stops slowing and starts to sprint forward like a wild cheetah.
I look back at the road ahead of me and shakily I depress my clutch and pull the stick all the way back; I hesitate to to engage my clutch but I do so anyways, forcing myself to find my composure. Fourth gear. The Civic quickly catches up as quickly as it fell behind and it starts to nudge past me. Concern fills my mind as his loud buzzing exhaust note drills into my ears until I see the upcoming hill. A maniacal grin grows upon my face as we both start to ascend the treacherous hill. In one swift motion I downshift, clutch in, slam the stick up, release the clutch, Third gear. The torque that was now at my fingertips felt euphoric as I slam down my accelerator. The Civic is caught off guard and retaliates by downshifting as well, he quickly gains the few inches of ground that he had lost.
The once ever-growing hill gently formed into level ground as the Civic and I speed across it. No longer needing the extra torque I quickly depress the clutch, pull back, and release my pounding foot. Fourth gear. As we zoom across the smooth, faded road, I look down at my dash, 60.
We see the light slowly fade from a warm yellow to a fun-ending red. “Good thing I have to turn here to get home” I sadly tell myself. The Civic beside me has already began the engine brake, his exhaust crackling sadly each gear he goes down. I too start to engine brake, my stock exhaust only murmers as I slow. As I get closer to the light I start to go down the gears one by one. Third gear, slowing. Second gear, slowing. I put on my left indicator and move over to the turn lane. Both of us near the light and coast with the clutch until we stop and place the gearbox in neutral. The Civic owner notices me in the other lane and lowers his dark, glossy windows. I too roll my window and look over to the grinning driver. “Your car may be older than me, and you look like a kid, but man can you drive.” He let out with some enthusiasm. I gave him a “Thank you” and we chuckled for a second.
Both the normal and left red light faded to green and I pulled away left as he sped in into the distance. As I puttered down the slower and smaller road something dawned upon me. Some random guy with a fart can on a Civic taught me two things. Firstly, we had a ton of fun without ever breaking the speed limit. Secondly, that there is more to car culture than I could have ever imagined. Both me -a kid with a stock 32 year old car- and a “ricer” with a fart canned Civic had fun together and appreciated each other. I must have gone into “auto pilot mode” because I was second away from my driveway. I check for traffic and gently pull into the driveway of my cozy home. I grabbed the still steaming donuts, locked my car, stepped back and grinned.
“That was fun, now it’s time for donuts with my family.”
The Streetlight Civic, a story based on true events by TheBimmerGuy.
Tell me what you guys think; it’s my first time doing something like this and I hope you enjoyed it!