In the morning, I would often peruse the local Kijiji and Craigslist for ads written by drunks. Often they had posted their cars in a furious spate of regret, and I could sometimes snap my way through their hangovers to pick up the cars. But there was something odd happening.

I saw a series of WTB ads for cars that I had found eminently desirable but had never admitted to my significant other. Pretty much all of them were written in all caps, demanded salacious exposure of these hot automobiles to the ad writer. Described things in words, terminology, phrasing that seemed oddly familiar.

I started asking around, dropping hints in normal conversation with my car-guy friends, but those tastes were too freakish even for them. Laughs, people slowly backing away, mockery at the idea of owning a triple-supercharged RB26 Delorean. We had ourselves a genuine mystery on our hands, and I was going to get to the bottom of it.

I hadn’t been sleeping very well lately, a problem which I ascribed to the heat. One night I stayed awake all night, stirring in bed, back and forth. That morning, no WTB ads. I felt - oddly - lonely, like someone who truly understood me was gone as well. I didn’t put two and two together until later.

When the ads reappeared, I called the number immediately. I felt like I could turn this into a social call, get at least a tour of the guy’s garage, maybe some spare parts. No sooner did I push the green talk button, than I heard a strange sound. Following it to its source, I uncovered a heretofore-unknown Nokia tucked in the back of the couch, with hundreds of SMS messages on it. Creeped out, I put the phone back, but set out some improvised Lego caltrops in order to catch the interloper.

That night, I awoke standing in the middle of my own living room, reaching into the couch for the hidden Nokia, a stabbing pain in my foot. I was acting unconsciously on my secret fetishistic desires, something that the doctors later coined as car-guy sleepwalking.

Advertisement

It was chilling to think that my desire for odd cars was driven entirely by my limbic system, occasionally flaring to the conscious level and becoming actionable, but uncontrollable and aggressive beneath the surface. How could it be that there was something deep and reptilian roaming my mind that came out when my mind retreated into slumber at night? My thoughts raced, trying to connect the dots of weird occurrences and coincidences around the house that were now flatly explained by a plethora of hard evidence.

I looked out my front window and saw a lifted Mk2 Escort that I didn’t recognize idling in the driveway, its massive halogen beams burning the dust in my front foyer. Across the rear quarter window, in all caps, was a greasepaint sign reading “THE VOICE.”

That’s when I heard the sirens. My vision dimmed at the corners, and I felt faint.