Midnight Cowboys

I hear them sometimes, late-late on a Saturday night/early-early Sunday morning, when the air is still. Or maybe it’s when there’s a slight breeze blowing from there, that death-trap ribbon of tar.

Whichever it is, the sounds of their cars roaring at way-too-high speed. I can almost smell the testosterone on the night air, the exhaust fumes. These are the sounds of illegal drag-racers taking over the quiet early morning city highway.

I’ve never seen them, but I’ve read the stories in the paper. The ones where they’ve killed themselves showing off how much bigger their engine is than the guy’s next to them. Bigger engine, shinier wheels, more power, slam into a lamp post and all that’s left is a glinting silver mag wheel, winking in the pre-dawn mist as life drains out of someone far too young, a streak of adrenaline on a cold tar road.

I  send a little prayer of sorts to the gods or whoever looks after us to keep them safe, those young urban cowboys doing their thing. I can’t stop myself from thinking of their mothers, worrying at home.

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