Mika stood in his driveway smoking a cigarette. His hands were worn with stories of white knuckled nights and wringing fortune from circumstance.
A little black Mustang with gold racing stripes rested at the bottom of his garage. A tiny ramp divided the street from his workshop that looked more like a living room than anything else. There was the car, a motorcycle, and a desk with neatly arranged racing paraphernalia.
"The car is my real lady. I've had three wives and this car has outlasted them all."
It was hard not to believe him. Mika had the look of the Beat Generation. He was of the group that said "fuck all" and moved out to San Francisco to join the movement with the rest of the merry pranksters.
Frankly, Mika dressed like a convict. With generic black tennis shoes, a grey sweat suit, and a cigarette perpetually glowing between his finger tips, he smiled and told me a story.
"I got my fastest ticket last week," he said. "One-hundred fifty-eight point eight. The pigs couldn't catch me. I only slowed down because I felt bad for the suckers."
I chuckled, and he went on.
"But that was only my fastest ticket. Back in Memphis, there was this guy named Ron who was honestly the biggest asshole in town. He had a smokin' hot girlfriend and an unfortunate looking wife who he had to leave at home. He had a little bit of money, and trust me, he let you know about it. Now, I really don't care for all his things, but I did care about the Jaguar he drove around."
Mika started speaking quickly.
"Man, one day this asshole gets so drunk at a bar, that me and a buddy boosted his car and went one-hundred and ninety in it. We took it right out from under his nose! I swear, you wouldn't believe how insignificant the rest of the world feels when you're going that speed. I took that car to show my girlfriend and she damn near killed me when she realized who it belonged to. Best thing, I took it back without him ever noticing.
"You know, I learnt three things that night. Firstly, Jaguars are really something special. Also, stealing a car is not as hard as it looks. And finally, I learnt something real important. Women can never appreciate the nice things we do for them."