Sometimes there's nothing to believe in...
When experiencing a Formula 1 race you don't just get to see how the other half lives, you get to see how the other half percent lives. And that's especially true at the crown jewel of F1: Monaco. Monaco, with its unmatched history of street racing, is the premiere event of the racing world and millionaires and billionaires from around the around flock to it just to see and be seen even if they don't fully appreciate the sport. You can carry the glamour around here in buckets.
With my endless grieving of sorrows past, I'm a bit out of place here at race week what with the nonstop partying and countless number of multi-million dollar yachts crowding the harbor. I'm lying on the bed in my cheap rental room staring at the ceiling wondering why I should even move. I've got nothing to make me feel good. All I do by living is perpetuate the misery. Exit stage left is fine by me.
Walking around the hotels and other party palaces it's hard not to imagine the gifted fates of the uber rich. Are they really so much better than I to be granted so many more privileges. Am I supposed to assume they have a greater karma to have been born into massive wealth? Should I believe they are wonders of the world to have carved out their fortunes like any petty dictator? Sorry, I just can't see it.
Knowing what I know, I hear the ticking time bomb in my head. Somehow this frustration will come out - and probably in a way I can't control. I can't stuff myself back into my room but I know if I keep wandering through this wonderland something will light my fuse and the bomb will go off. Sure enough, I was right.
Something snapped when I saw that spoiled Saudi prince laughing his way up the stairs into his hotel from his sweeping black Ferrari. I didn't know what I was going to do yet, but I knew I was going to do something. Hoping to mitigate the situation I walked up to the doorman to inquire about and who and what was that Ferrari driver. I hoped and prayed he'd say something to help me put the genie back in the bottle but as it seems to happen every time in this situation the worst possible thing happened.
"Oh, that's Prince Fasil. He's got so many Ferraris you could take one and he'd never miss it!"
Oh, shit. Don't put that thought in my head. Also didn't help when I found out the doorman was not exaggerating. The prince had brought no less than a dozen to show off at race week! That's more than one a day! From that point on all my brain could think about was getting my hands on one of those Ferraris. It's a helpless feeling watching your rationality dissipate, like trying to stop water from seeping down the drain. You can grab at it, but in the end you can only fail.
It's a unique mindset here in Monaco, home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. Confront it head on and you'll run right into the lion's mouth. But they also wish to believe they are above the seamy side of the world, that they have achieved a certain holiness above and beyond mere money. They have not. This leaves them with a psychological blind spot where if you act strongly enough like you belong somewhere no one will question you lest they disturb this paradise found.
Piecing these things together my wicked brain percolated through the night, dragging me to a plan I knew would work - if only I would execute it. Usually when I make plans, God wrecks them in the most creative and inventive ways you can imagine. Just fucking incredible the million to one occurrences that waylay my foolproof logic. I can't win the goddam lottery but I’ve sure had no problems winning reverse lotteries! So I figured - wrongly, of course - that any sort of nefarious scheme I cooked up God would surely harpoon long before it came to fruition.
Instead, it was like magic, feeling the wind at my back the whole time. I know it's silly, but I felt divine hands guiding me and I knew everything would work as I wanted. Why does this only happen when I'm doing something wrong?? Either God's a thief or He/She wants me to feel alive too. Regardless, a bored and slightly annoyed me came back to the hotel to "pick up" one of the prince's Ferraris. It's a common practice to be sort of a glorified valet across town fetching high priced cars. But with the idea of being a place of integrity, the Monaco-ites just know they would be able to spot a phony.
But I'll be damned if they weren't phony after all, just as I always believed. Hard to describe the feeling of elation I felt as the keys were dropped into my hands and I pulled out of that high security parking lot just like I owned the joint. Mamma mia! I'm driving a Ferrari! Oh, what a feeling! The power, the luxury, the heritage - I was living the dream. I hear the rich can be miserable too. Don't you believe it!
I headed up the coastline like I was in a magazine ad and suddenly Monaco took on a whole new look. I guess everything looks different from the inside. I too felt the seduction of her false integrity, that just by owning this magnificent machine I was inherently moral. Deep down inside, we know anything corrupt can never last. So you just gotta believe the gods are on your side...
The weight of the world lifted off my shoulders during that heavenly drive. Claws of hatred fell out of my heart. I was friendly, waving to other drivers, feeling a part of a special club. Yes, this was my chariot to the stars. Driving this thunderous beast was as exhilarating as any drug - and just as dangerous. Do this too much and disaster is sure to come. So I knew I had to stash the car and come back down to the earth of my own accord before I crashed.
I knew of a cheap flop house a couple of hours up the road I'd seen before. I got me a room and hid the car in an abandoned warehouse across the street after clearing out a spot among all the junk. I knew I had to resume a normal life to cover my tracks so I hired on washing dishes in a restaurant down the road. I'd done work like that before but with a secret Ferrari up my sleeve I didn't give a damn what I did! Having that high at my disposal made the unbearable bearable. Even when I was out of the car I was in it.
Vaguely, I knew something was wrong. I had no mentor, no one to guide me on the ins and outs of this sort of caper. It was just goddam great not be having my head stuck under water for once in the water-boarding hell an unfulfilled life is. But it was a crumbling empire. Word got out of my Ferrari fantasy and I started giving rides in it. I know that sounds incredibly stupid now, but at the time it seemed like the next heady step to take. After all, what's heaven when you can't share it??
Then a devil came to visit me, Nico the Turk. They say guilt is the devil's greatest weapon and will cause mankind to make the decisions that bring ultimate doom. Man, do I believe that! I didn't like Nico, I didn't trust him, but the smiling devil knew my psychological blind spot just like I had of Monaco society. He asked me if he could take it for a ride and wanting to appear generous and magnanimous I said yes. I didn't want to him to drive it one fucking bit. But see, that's the problem with guilt, it stops you from doing what you want to do.
The inner voices were screaming the minute I handed him the keys. I told myself rationalizations on why it was OK and that after this I would listen to my instincts and kept insects like Nico out of my life. Lesson learned - or so I thought. When the plainclothes detective came barging into the kitchen I knew I was cooked.
The detective was a very polite fellow, even empathizing with me. "That boy prince has more Ferraris than he knows what to do with. But he sure was pissed when he found one was gone. He was screaming bloody murder when I left." I made an extra effort to cooperate (which may have been his plan for his sympathy) explaining I had only taken it on an extended joy ride, the car was in perfect shape, and led him to the warehouse where I stored it safe and sound. It wasn't until I stepped inside my panicking mind realized fucking Nico had the car!
That empty spot where the car should have been exactly echoed the emptiness in my heart. The cop had no choice but to take me in at that point and after going to the highest of highs I fell to the lowest of lows. Who knows how it may have gone if I hadn't given into my guilt and been able to painlessly return the car. I didn't expect to get off scot free - and I did have thoughts of selling the car for money that would have changed me life - but I got the hammer dropped on me instead.
CODA: They did catch Nico trying to sell it. He was way out of his small time league trying to fence a high ticket item like that even in Monaco. Probably what would have happened to me if I had tried to sell it. In jail, a pathway formed in my mind giving me clarity like I'd never known before. I found my place in the world.
I'm a professional car thief, the kind I wish I had had to mentor me on my first theft. I just can't get away from that high! In that cold prison cell I knew I had more fun in that Ferrari than that spoiled prince would have in ten lifetimes. That's because I owned that car but his cars owned him. Funny part is I've made so much money doing this I'm able to buy a Ferrari of my own - so I did. But I don't nearly enjoy driving it as much as I do a stolen one!