Just Drive, Man. Drive! –from John

by Asymmetrical Saab

It happens unexpectedly, really, my flying down an empty 110 freeway in the passenger seat of a rusty black Saab 900 S Aero en route to nowhere. I am back in LA again after a five-year hiatus, back in the city I love to hate. Every proper Californian boy goes through a state like that, it’s part of the experience. But at one a.m., groggy after nearly 12 hours of flight level 320, it is the best gift in the world: this topless Saab and the desert heat and the thrill of an empty LA freeway and the giant lighted towers looming downtown before us, welcoming me back, or shooing me away.

We’re driving too fast to hold a conversation, me and the guy in the driver’s seat. (This alone would prove strangely ominous, because after this night we’d never speak to each other again.) But now, in his crazy, dirty Saab with the irascible techno music pounding away, I just tell him to drive. “Food!?” he asks. “Mel’s on Sunset? In-N-Out in Westwood? Wherever you f*cking want to eat?” he screams. But I just wave him forward. Just drive, man. Drive! No LACMA, no Hollywood, no off-the-radar industry party in Echo Park or Silverlake. So for hours we do just that: drive. Not stopping for cocktails or chasing down chicks or munching on charbroiled hamburgers in crowded post-club parking lots. We just drive circles around LA, not talking, my hair dirty and dusty from all that is bad in the air. This is happiness. This is freedom. And even to this day, 15 years later, that Saab and my LA are inseparable.