This is the perfect weather for the convertible driver in Houston. While most of the time you’re either freezing your nalgas or sweating balls, nights like tonight are per-fucking-fect for driving with the top down. It’s like you get to experience the city with another sense. For instance, driving down Washington Avenue near Studemont you’re treated to the smell of fresh-baked bread. The previously mentioned Waugh at Allen Parkway treats you to the urine-smelling guano under the bridge.
I put the top down tonight. Glorious. Made me want to keep driving until I reached one of the coasts, and I’m not talking third coast. Then I exited Allen Parkway at Studemont. And I knew there would be a guy there with a sign. While I’ve talked before about how I don’t give anyone money, I’m not immune to the desire to do so. Sitting at that light can be excruciating at times because there’s always someone there. It’s usually that really red-skinned white guy, and since he’s been there for a period of years, I feel no compulsion to help him out. But he works pretty much the same hours I do, so the night shift is not as familiar.
Tonight was a bearded, white haired fella. I decided not to pretend I didn’t see him since my top was down and I had the music cranked. I wished him a good evening. What was cool is this. He asked me about gas mileage. He said, “I’ll bet you get pretty good gas mileage, huh?” while I was waiting for the light. I responded that it’s not nearly as good as it should be for such a small car and then he threw out a number and I told him that is was actually under that, I guess because even though it’s small it has a decent-sized engine. We shot the shit for a bit, the light changed and I moved on. He remained.
It’s these little moments of humanity that make it all okay. This guy took a break from what must be a humiliating existence, at best, to talk cars, and I took a break from being an uptight city bitch to do the same.
I love cars. And I love Houston on a cool night with the top down.