The curb jostles my eyes back open. My Dad steers us into another Texaco. Moths dance under neon beams of red and blue. Cars and Trucks! Save Like Mad! I smell a skunk.
“How fast does it go, Mister?” It’s always the same question. It’s the same kid, same blue coveralls, same squint under a mop of straw hair, same chewing gum.
“Two hundred miles an hour down the straight away.” My Dad always says that.
This time, back in the van, we call it the Great White Whale, I ask him. “Why do you lie like that? L’il Stroker (what we call the race car) only goes 80 miles an hour downhill, you said.”
“If I told him the truth, he’d be sad. Did you see how happy he looked when he waved goodbye?”
The traffic lights disappear behind us. Mumbling voices and the murmur of steel guitar keep us company through the dark of the desert.