The first ten minutes are consistent with ambient noise.
A high-performance vehicle’s engine whines in the background.
Sounds of contemporary jazz guitar flicker through the recording.
The ambient background fuzz is reminiscent of a vehicle travelling down the highway.
There are two men talking in this audio. Both have voices that are punching out of their weight class.
Low and slow in register, their vocabularies are barely above high school, but efficient in message.
Metallic dragging of flicked lighters, burn sizzles, coughing.
The men are smoking, chuckling, relaxing, and here’s hoping they’re talking shop.
Man #1: “Yea?” he grunts
Man #2: “Well, think about it- right now it costs me about $40-45 bucks to fill my tank, but I get about 220 miles per tank, which is like fucking bad like, right now I’m like, averaging like fourteen or fifteen right now.”
This man honks in his plucking midwest droll.
Man #2: “Because I just, like…” He chuckles through his nose, “…I just don’t know how to not drive like an asshole.”
(Here both men choke out chortles of stoned laughter.)
Man #2: “That’s what it comes down to. I can’t help myself from driving like an asshole.”
A twangy country ballad bungles through the stereo, riding cattle through a pasture of bass melodies that give way to plucked banjo cacti that speckle the ground of our deserted imaginations. Rawhide echoes off the soft leather of what I can pretty much gather is a luxury coupe. The sound dampening and the muffled high-output motor are very clearly not cheap. All this I gather just from the sound.
Man #1: “I mean that’s why I really like the dock hand, because even if I get a turbo, my gas mileage is only going to go to 15-18, and I might be able to finagle twenty. Right now it’s 24-26 and that’s with me beating on it to make our deadlines.” His voice almost hiccups over the speakers.
I can tell from their accents that these guys are from up north. Wisconsin, Michigan, who knows, maybe even Canada.
Borders these days are ripe for the picking.
I let them continue.
Man #2: “Well right now I can do 25 on the highway, right now I’m doing 25-26, 27 right now on average, I’d say.”
Man #1: “I don’t know if I could ever do, well, like, I-I’ve never done long distance driving with it for daily use, so I don’t know if highway…”
The second man cuts him off
Man #2: “…You’ve never had it on the highway for more than an hour?”
Man #1: “Nope. It forces me to make a unique route. Stops for gas, shops, knick-knacks, little shit like that followed by a quick sprint on the highway. Sure, it uses more gas but I know exactly who’s tailing me…”
I stop the tape.
I need a cheeseburger, a beer and a cigarette.
Maybe even something with whiskey.
Mark; One minute, twenty-two seconds.