Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oil & Hay - 5

I grow more comfortable now, sinking into the peculiar rhythm of the course. There is no respite. There cannot be a breach in concentration, yet there is no time to think. You're always braking, shifting, turning, shifting, turning, braking. The only way to do it is to give yourself completely. To just let go. At other races it's useful to conceive of the car as an extension of your body; here you must think of the entire track that way. Be a blood cell coursing through your veins.

I feel the unexpected cool of a drip of drool emerge out the corner of my mouth.

I remain fixated on the back of Zo's car but find that I can observe certain incidental environmental details with naive fascination – amusement, even – like a child. There's the big Marlboro sign on the footbridge past start/finish. The Campari sign on the bridge after Casino. The banners that festoon the barriers and walls: Martini, Elf, BP, Esso, Total. Cigarettes, booze and petrol. What men buy.

I also discern the spectral figures of photographers, walking blithely along the narrow sidewalks, sometimes turning into a crouch to face us.

Zo's pulling away. Each time I see him in the tighter corners I'm tempted to believe the narrowing gap is meaningful but again he speeds off – down into the tunnel, out of the chicane, out of the Gasworks hairpin and up the front straight. I wish he'd make a mistake. Anything. Anything is possible. I look for his tail to fly out of his perfect drift. It never does.

My pit board says:


Eighty-two laps to go.