Sunday, March 9, 2014

Feel Sorry for the Porsche Owner

It’s them.
The two Porsche Cayman guys. They roll in together. The younger one looks like the rockstar type, in his 30s. Nick. Tattoos up to his neck, but well dressed. The other a forgettable middle aged white guy named Dave.

TechArt Porsche Cayman

The rockstar’s  Cayman is like something from a videogame. It’s glossy black, with a custom TechArt widebody, housing deep dish wheels that seem to devour the road. The other guy, Dave, his is a base model Cayman. Looking like an eager little brother by comparison.

They drive in, park in the middle of the show, get out and talk only to themselves. They’re not even interested in the other cars. They never leave their spot, standing in front of their two prized Porsche Caymans.

I’ve already made my rounds, talking to the regulars, inquiring about their current projects and plans, hearing their stories, shaking hands and moving on.

The Scottsdale Pavillions car show is in its prime right now, throbbing at its finest hour.  The air is cool, but not cold. The cars are packed tightly together as far as the eye can see, with the crowd moving through like waves. There’s some good cars, some rare ones, some beat up ones, some with hidden potential, and some I feel sorry for.

Every 20 minutes police blips can be heard in the distance then cheers from the crowd as showoffs get ticketed just down the road.

“So how’s she been, Dave?” I thumb to his plain Cayman.

He scoffs, like he tasted something bitter. “Still guzzling oil.”

The 2 year old Porsche glistens innocently.

“Hasn’t blown up yet?” I ask, with a smile.

“Ha! Don’t jinx me. These engines are absolute crap.”

The three of us chat about upgrades and parts to make these Caymans fly. Rockstar Nick is in all his glory, while Dave worships every word like a hungry pupil.

“Evolution has made a kit for this that makes 600 wheel horsepower on 5 pounds of boost. 91 pump gas too,” he says.

Dave nods in agreement (with everything Nick says). I scratch my chin at his fiction.

While we chat, passersby glance at the Caymans but don’t seem interested or impressed.

A finger taps my shoulder. I stop my conversation and turn around.

“Yo dawg. You seen a 911?”

I point to one down the aisle.

“Tanks.” And he walks off with his girlfriend, who looks uncomfortable.

Nick and Dave are visibly displeased, with hands on hips.

“Tanks.” Dave grumbles.

“I know. It’s okay guys,” I offer.

“Fuckin whatever. He thinks I can’t afford a 911? What, that I wouldn’t have bought one if I could have?” Nick’s feelings are clearly hurt now.

“It’s okay, man. It’s okay. That guy, forget him. He doesn’t know any better,” I whisper, trying to calm him.

“He doesn’t get it! My car is midengine okay? MIDENGINE. It’s way fuckin better. Stupid 911 is nothing compared to my Cayman!” Nick’s hands are flying all over.

Dave looks at the ground.

“Awright Nick. Dude it’s cool. Porsche blatantly detuned the Cayman so it wouldn’t be faster than their flagship 911. People know that.  The Cayman, with a few tweaks, is a monster that deserves respect,” I sooth.

“That’s—that’s right!”  Nick’s face is intense, his entire body then proclaims “I’ll get that turbo kit and then they’ll see! They’ll all see!”

Dave’s eyes trade between his regular Cayman, and Nick’s glossy super Cayman. Both of these cars are ultra cool in the real world.

 But it’s all relative. Neither of these men have quenchable thirst. Even with a $100,000 car, it’s the same rat race. An endless pursuit of validation and unquestionable admiration.

Nick and Dave only see what’s faster than them. In this car show, it’s easy to feel like your car- your pride and joy- isn’t good enough.

Nick and Dave are enslaved by that. They don’t remember the hundreds of approving glances, photos and compliments… they only remember the occasional “oh but it’s not a 911.” That little jab at their ego, that tiny moment of being brushed off.

It drives them crazy, festering in their mind. When there’s a little ding on an otherwise perfect paint job, that one ding is all they see.

I notice another MR2 roll through, my heart swells.

“My club is really gaining steam,” I say.


“Yeah an MR2 club,” I smile.

“What year?” Nick leans in.

“Mine’s a 93.”

Nick’s face opens up into a big smile. His eyes shine bright. “I used to have one of those! Holy shit that was such a fun car. Little two liter turbo in it was like a secret weapon!”

His super Cayman dims in jealousy.

Dave is lost. Not sure what an MR2 is.

“You know, you could sell your Cayman and buy a perfect turbo MR2 for your wife and each of the kids,” I chuckle.

“Oh… oh I don’t have a wife and kids,” Nick says to the Cayman.

“…Yeah… yeah me neither,” Dave says quietly, more to himself than to me.

They're both silent. Suddenly very far away.

The air hangs heavily. Their flashy cars mean nothing now. And not because they’re not fast or cool enough.

Because these men are getting old, and the reality of being alone just hit them. Under their thin veil of flashy sportscar prowess lies a quiet desire for love. That’s all it is. Someone love me, please.

"Hey you guys wanna grab some food?" I'm desperate to change the mood.

"Oh I... I think you know it's getting late so," Dave says to his feet.

"Yeah I should, I should probably... get home..." Nick fades.

What have I done.

Nick and Dave slump into their super Porsches, people gather around to watch them, but the drivers are miles away in their minds. Their titanium exhausts rumble loud enough to drown out their sniffling. Sad and alone in their leather bucket seats, shielded by their exclusive limo tint facade, they disappear.

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