The Limo Driver’s Diary
by AJ Profeta
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
This is the day I remembered what Leonardo Da Vinci once said.
I was on my way back to Connecticut after an early-morning run to LaGuardia. Dawn was breaking over the Hutchinson River Parkway as I approached the Westchester County line.
I was trying to settle in and prepare myself for another long day of shuffling self-important yuppie business types to and from New York airports. So help me, if I had to hear one more conference call dotted with corporate speak, I was going to have to fight to keep from tossing my breakfast. Terms like “I reached out to him” so he could “get his head around this” and “produce a positive R.O.I.” are so blatantly phony, they make my skin crawl.
I was thinking about the next passenger who would greet me with “how are you?” when he couldn’t care less when I cruised around a wide bend and was temporarily blinded by the sunrise. Automatically my right foot went to the brake as my left hand went to the visor.
Just as my vision cleared, I was startled by a thunderous roar coming up on my right. A maniac in a Nazi helmet and outlaw colors blew by me — he had to be doing well over a hundred.
“Jesus!” I screamed. I got that iceball-in-the-stomach feeling. Soon I collected myself and settled in at my comfortable and safe sixty miles an hour.
A short time later, I came up on the snake-like curves of the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich. Again, the morning sun caught me by surprise. Again, coming around a bend, I was blinded by the now stronger, larger dawn devil. Again, the automatic hand-and-foot thing slowed me as I hoped it wouldn’t take more than a split-second to see clearly.
Brake lights! Hundreds of brake lights turning my entire world panic-red. The worn brake rotors on my Town Car tank made the whole car shake and shimmy as I braked harder.
About three seconds after I realized I was not going to crash, I saw him. He was sprawled face-down on the shoulder, motionless, his Nazi helmet securely covering a brain that had just had its last thought.
A thirty-something woman stood in the shoulder, talking frantically on her cell phone. The trunk of her car was pushed in, nearly covering the rear windshield. An ambulance was screaming up behind me. A few cars had stopped near the mangled Harley, and several people were now running toward the victim.
I snailed past the body slowly enough to read the lettering on the back of his leather jacket. It read: IMMORTALS. BRONX, N.Y. The only thing immortal about this guy would be the carnage of this scene, frozen in my memory. ** Read on! **