Sitting next to me in his metallic blue Ford Escort, resplendent with it's extended spoiler and loud, thick music pumping rhythmically from an oversized speaker nesting above the back seat.
The hubcaps were chrome-covered chrome, and as the sun hit them, beams of light poured forth into the twilight, blinding the small children on the zebra crossing in front of us.
As he sat there, cigarette hanging from his lips, one arm casually hanging out of the window, fingers drumming along in time to the all encompassing bass line he looked as though he felt 'cool', and not just normal 'cool' either, but the sort of cool normally reserved for the likes of James Dean or the Marlboro man.
He glanced over at me sitting hunched and distraught at the wheel of my prehistoric Peugeot, a sarcastic smile creased his lips, he knew his car was the fastest and he knew he could prove it, he felt good and I was marked down for humiliation at the hands of this motorized messiah.
The engine of his beast throbbed in an almost auto-erotic way, this man and his machine were one, from the furry dice that swung from his rear view mirror to the walnut tipped gear stick he softly caressed, every inch of this vehicle was as well known to him as the back of his own leather driving gloved hand. This was more than just a car to him; this was his soul, his lover and his friend.
The tiny pip-pip-pip sounds of the pedestrian crossing were barely audible above the heady mix of Euro-pop and engine, but the sudden way in which the road warriors stance changed alerted me to the status of the traffic lights which had only moments before drawn us together.
No longer on red, the amber glow of anticipation now shone in through the windscreens of our respective transports.
I sat there, not knowing what to expect, my feet nervously pressing the pedals, fiddling with my gear stick trying desperately to disappear from view…
He on the other hand was as alert as a meercat, his eyes flashed from behind the copper lenses of his driving glasses, his feet were playing the engine of his Escort like a fiddle, the growl of his beast almost seemed to chant "Here we go, here we go, here we go" under it's sweet exhaust scented breath, taunting me, goading me, trying with all it's power to pull me into a drag race that would make the Greased Lightning scene in Grease seem like a Sunday afternoon drive in the country.
I pressed hard upon the accelerator, my faithful old motor coughed and wheezed into life with all the majesty of an asthmatic donkey. From within his metallic blue monster, my nemesis cocked a wry smile and nodded knowingly to me as the light switched to green.
A screech of rubber, and he was gone.
I sat there, unwilling to be drawn into this race, this pointless macho posturing, I sat there, I sat there and watched.
I watched as he pulled away, I watched, as he looked stunned into his rear view mirror, confused by my lack of movement and I watched as he drove straight into the new keep left sign erected that very morning by the men of the council to warn us all of the impending roadwork's.
As I slowly pootled by his crumpled car, I was semi-relieved to see that although shaken, he was still alive and well, but no longer cool, no longer a man and machine in perfect harmony but that he now had the look that he deserved, the look that fitted him, he looked like just another sad, fuckwitted boy racer who's luck had just run out.
I mean after all, boy racers are twunts aren't they…
Some days are just so worth getting out of bed for.