When you spend three hours a day in a car, you get your kicks where you can.
There are nine lights between our exit and where we park the van. Ten if you count the stop sign.
On Tuesday afternoon, we exited the freeway. For a wonder, the first light was green.
Paul guided the large van slowly through the first light saying a triumphant little “Yes!” under his breath.
We approached the next intersection. Brake lights flashed in front of us.
Brian laughed. “Oh bummer. Gotta slow down.”
But the light changed and we coasted through.
Paul grinned. “Oh there will be no slowing down today.”
The wheels picked up the pace, beating a steady road rhythm. We breezed through a third, a fourth, a fifth green light.
“Oh my God. Five lights. We made five green lights.” Brian’s normally loud voice was quiet with awe.
“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, baby,” Paul said. He hunched over wheel, determination creasing his forehead.
The rest of us held our breath. Something was about to happen. We didn’t know what but it was going to be big.
A sixth green light.
Sweat beads formed on Paul’s forehead, his eyes focused unerringly on the road.
Brian said, “We’re in the home stretch, man. You got this.” Brian looked just as intent on the road as Paul.
Eight green lights. Only one left.
Heart beating hard, I looked ahead through the windshield. The last arrow was red.
“We’re not gonna make it,” Brian said.
“Oh yes we are.” Paul lifted his foot from the gas pedal buying us a few precious, slow seconds.
“We had a good streak, man,” Brian said regretfully, “but it’s not gonna—“
The left arrow blinked from red to green.
Paul gave a wild whoop of joy and hit the gas. He cranked the wheel left through the intersection. The van tilted and jounced over a pothole as we crossed into the parking lot.
Looming ahead was the last stop sign.
Brian cried out,“Don’t stop! We can get one more!”
Paul grinned and punched the gas pedal. The van lunged violently forward. The stop sign fell away behind us.
And then it was over.
Breathless and wide eyed, we coasted the final one hundred feet. Paul guided the van into the space, and put the gear shift into park.
He settled back in his seat and removed the key from the ignition. Giving us all a long look through the rear view mirror, a small satisfied smile curved his lips.
“That, my friends, is what is known as a driving orgasm.”