(excerpted from: THE ALCHEMIST’S NEGRO: My 30+ Years as a Motorsports Bottomfeeder)
Big Head Todd and the Monsters are playing “Bittersweet” thru the new 400W computer sound system… Todd Park Mohr is getting sounds out of a geetaur that effortlessly drone on and on… and that last conversation with my Wife about why the fuck I leave home at a moments notice to drive across the eastern seaboard and help somebody else with a race car/boat/tricycle insteada stay home and fix up the house is rolling thru my mind like I’ve once again found the answer.
“I do this because it’s supremely difficult”.
It ended the argument.
Trying to explain to ANYONE who doesn’t have the disease is like trying to describe a sunset on acid, or what you found appealing about your one true love at first glimpse.
It cannot be done in words. There is no medium of communication that will convey what the hour before racetime feels like… before the green flag drops, and the bullshit stops, and all of existence drops away leaving nothing but the moment, the payoff for working on a vehicle that consumes a hundred hours of labor for every moment of performance.
It is SUPREMELY DIFFICULT…
“WHAT? You don’t have that thing DONE yet”?
No dear, it’s never DONE…there are so many different pieces of the recipe to speed, if you were to write them down you would suddenly find yourself doing nothing else…ever. It changes. Last weeks tune-up that showed all the promise of a newborns first cry comes off the trailer slow… for no reason. The diagnostic process reveals nothing. So you test everything again…and you test the things you forgot…and you call everybody in the free world who has ever run one of these things and you ask…
“Hey…has yours ever done…THIS?”
And they tell you all they know, and you check all the told, and there’s STILL no reason for the loss of speed.
So you start to remove everything you’ve modified, tricked up, and tweaked. and the damn thing goes RIGHT back to where it belongs…and you start to put the magical pieces back in ‘er one at a time, and the process begins again.
From the top.
And you’re booked at a race a thousand miles away. In less than a week. And you wonder if the damn thing is gonna go fast enuff to get out of its own way. And the Owner is pissed/paranoid, and the driver has no idea he might not get the rocketship he stepped out of onto the podium and get his trophy for last time, and…
Like I said…
And as soon as I find something else that makes me feel, and think, and goddamn feel just ALIVE the way this does, honey, I promise…