Sunday, May 11, 2008

Driving Fast

DAVID GREENBERGER: What's the fastest you've ever driven?
ROSE DWYER: I'm a speedster. I'll find myself sort of dreamin' and I'll discover I'm goin' really fast and I have to stop and think about it, because at my age I could lose my license.
HELEN PETTEYS: I go fast enough to get there safely.
CAROLYN HARTWELL: I keep within the speed limit, David. When it says thirty, I go thirty – especially in the village because they're right on your tail.
DAVID: If it said eighty, would you go eighty?
CAROLYN: No, I'd still stay at fifty-five. It might be I'd creep up to sixty, then I'd have to slow down, go back to fifty-five.
DAVID: Rita, what's the fastest you've ever driven?
RITA BUTLER: I don't know, probably seventy or eighty. We went to Cape Cod and they had a lot of construction and we found ourselves going some way and going in to Boston. We got so far and we stopped and asked a man and he said we were on the turnpike. So my cousin wanted to know how we would get off and he says, "You can't, not until the end of it." We were on the two lane where we would get off and they were goin' seventy or eighty miles per hour on the turnpike, through the tunnel. And I was the one who was doing the driving!
DAVID: Did you love the speed?
RITA: I didn't love the speed. I had to watch what I was doing.
DAVID: That's the way it is with driving.
RITA: I have to go get my hair done. Helen Petteys is driving me. I don't drive anymore, I gave up my license. I'm eighty-six.
DAVID: Do you miss the speed?
RITA: (laughs) No! When it says thirty, i go thirty. When it says forty, I go forty. When it says sixty-five, I go sixty-five. Well, I used to. I just gave up driving. That's all you're going to get out of me today.
CAROLYN: Be nice to him!
RITA: I am, I'm nice to David. I'm nice to you, aren't I?
CAROLYN: I think it was last week I saw him out on the street and we talked.
RITA: I see him and blow the horn.
CAROLYN: Oh, I wouldn't want to startle him!
RITA: I have to go now.
(Helen walks over to Rita an helps her up from her chair)
RITA: I have oxygen constantly.

DAVID: What's the fastest you ever drove?
RAY BROCKWAY: Oh, I wouldn't know, probably eighty, ninety, when you get on the Northway or somethin' like that – only on the major highways. I go thirty in town.
ROSE DWYER: I try to drive the speed limit on the highway.
RAY: I drive fifty-five and everybody goes right by me.

DAVID: Do you like to drive fast?
BURDETTE BUCKLEY: No, but women do! Once in a while you get the speed up and don't realize it. No, I like to stay within the speed limit.

DAVID: What's the fastest you ever drove?
JERRI TITUS: Sixty. I'm a slow driver. No speeding tickets.
DAVID: Do you like to be in a fast car?
JERRI: No, I get nervous. When I'm in my daughters' cars, they drive fast and I almost put my foot through the floor.

EDNA FELT: I've driven sixty, if i knew nobody was looking. That's not too often. I usually go forty and they go around me 'cause I'm driving too slow.
HELEN SHERIDAN: I'm still driving.
DAVID: What's the fastest you ever drove?
HELEN: That's a long time ago. that's a long, long time ago.
DAVID: How fast was it?
HELEN: Eighty.
DAVID: Alright!
HELEN: We had a car that if you stepped on the gas it'd be goin' eighty within the length of the car! That was power. That's the way it was, but it got so it used as much gas as it did mileage.
DAVID: Florence, what's the fastest you ever drove?
CAROLYN HARTWELL: You'll love this! (laughs)
FLORENCE: Do you mean in the village or on the Illinois and Indiana turnpike?
CAROLYN: (still laughing) Whatever!
FLORENCE: I'd say eighty-five, to get away from the truckers. When you get one on either side of you, you want to get away from them. Sometimes my foot gets a little heavy, too.
DAVID: Do you like the speed?
CAROLYN: (laughs) You get where you wanna go!
FLORENCE: It depends on who's watching how fast I go. (laughs)
HELEN: It depends on what kind of car you're driving. You need the power.
FLORENCE: In the village I go the limit.
DAVID: Thanks, I just needed some stories about speed.
FLORENCE: You mean L.S.D.? (laughs)
EDNA: You're a jokester!
FLORENCE: Well, he said speed! (laughs)

DAVID: What's the fastest you ever drove?
JERRY ST. CLAIR: Mostly on a motorcycle at that time, about a hundred-ten. That was on a motorcycle, headin' north. And that was back close to sixty years ago. I drove a car once as fast as it would go, it was an emergency. I had the pedal right to the floor and it went about ninety-five. My wife cut her head and it was an emergency. I had to get her to the doctor, she was bleedin' pretty good. that was quite a while ago, too. She's still got a scar on her head from it. I've got a lot of experience with automobiles.

(from issue #2 of the online magazine The Precipice, October, 2003. The same issue also included my answer to a question that was posed to me - see below. The photo above is of me with Angus T. Jones (Jake on the TV show "Two and a Half Men"), pretending to be driving fast in a parked car, November, 2005 in Venice, CA.)

THE PRECIPICE: What is your favorite method of transportation?
DAVID: I walk quite a bit to get around in the village where I live, sometimes going days without driving anywhere. Many other villagers just know me as the guy they see walking to and fro. That said, walking is of limited use to get to many other places I like and do other things I do. So driving a car is actually my favorite. (is walking even really a transportation method? It's more like the default setting, the free space in bingo.) However, to really have it be my favorite it'd have to be a better car than our sad set of wheels. Trains are nice, but the romantic allure of it supercedes the reality. And there's flying, there's something wonderful about falling asleep on a plane. Actually, my favorite part of flying is that time after I'm checked but still with a comfortable amount of time before departure. Security check done, I'm at my most relaxed. I have very little with me, usually a book and I buy a magazine and it's the only time I'm completely removed from my usual scrambling around. This of course changes once boarding begins. But I suppose what I'm refering to there is not the transporation that I'm responding to, but the absence of any responsibilities before being transported.