When I was 16, I bought a ’75 Saab for nine hundred bucks. Even through the 1980s, Saabs were still sort of rare, and so there was this unspoken club where if you saw another Saab coming down the road the other way, especially an older one, you flashed your lights at each other. Just a little “Hey, man. We know what’s up” sort of acknowledgement, a friendly, inclusive thing. It happened to me dozens of times, and I never failed to get a kick out of it.
And then one day a guy in a brand new red turbo Saab gave me the finger when I flashed my lights. He didn’t know about the club, or the history of his car, or the small pleasures of human interaction. He was just mad, and had to get where he was going really, really fast.
At that moment I knew the world was different, if not over.