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Friday Night Cruising

(This has been sitting in my draft folder, unfinished, for over a year. I am posting it today for no particular reason.)

“Wanna go cruise?” I asked Mason from my recliner.

“Okay,” he said, grabbing his Nintendo hat. “Where are we cruising to?”

“Around,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. It was 8:30pm. Twilight. Outside, the sun was low and red and reflected perfectly off my car. Once inside the car the two of us rolled the windows down, turned the radio up, and headed toward Yukon.

Back in the glory days I wore out many sets of tires doing laps around Yukon on Friday nights, hoping to see people and be seen. During my senior year (1991) the price of gasoline dropped to below a dollar per gallon, the only thing that made driving around in a Formula Firebird with no particular destination in mind remotely affordable.

“People used to hang out there, and there,” I said, pointing at the empty parking lots we passed.

“Where is everybody?” Mason asked.

Probably at home playing video games, I thought to myself.

The two of us pulled in to Sonic and ordered a couple of drinks. Back in the day it wasn’t uncommon for me to spot friends and classmates hanging out there, sipping on Route 44oz drinks. The thought crossed my mind that I might possibly be parked next to some of their children.

With drinks in our laps we doubled back and headed down Route 66 toward Oklahoma City. “We used drive up and down this street all night long,” I told Mason. He politely sipped on his diet Dr. Pepper.

“Why?” he asked.

At the first red light I pulled up to a car full of girls in a Kia. I looked over at them and gently revved my engine. They rolled their windows up. All I could make out through the tinted windows was the glow of multiple cell phones.

Mason and I made a left on Rockwell as I began heading back home. Even with the windows down and the radio up, it was quiet in the car. I drove past the ghosts of old friends in Camaros and Z-28s 280-ZXs and Grand Ams. I learned to drive in the era of 808 kick drums pumping out of Pyle Driver subwoofers.

Other than the occasional rattle from a battered Honda Civic’s muffler, the streets were silent.

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