How I Quit Being One Of Coolio’s Illegal Street Racers And Took Back My Life
Life isn’t as glamorous anymore since I stopped being an illegal street racer. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be. I’m well past my days of chasing the next high or thrill, and I have that completely convincing undercover cop that nabbed me to thank for it. God is it embarrassing to think back to my so-called “glory days.” Look at us, we look ridiculous (and “completely pointless,” according to Roger Ebert).
What can I say, the ecstasy was just really that good in the ’90s. And being an illegal street racer was as edgy as you could get. Everybody was wearing silver and black leather, listening to endless remixes of Darude’s “Sandstorm” while also telling people we were hackers. Guys and gals (and plenty of folks we were never sure of either way) wore thick black and glitter eyeliner, lounging around androgynously seductive like we were in a Spacehog video. Remember Spacehog? No? Well, damn.
But it wasn’t all good.
It was a good time, but it was definitely not cool. I know that now. Hell, by the late ’90s Coolio himself was barely cool, still riding off hits he wrote half a decade earlier.
The required uniform for my gang was a powdered wig and an eyepatch. It might sound strange now, but honestly I was just happy to belong. You can see me in the background of plenty of archived footage from the Gotham crime scene during that time. Probably doesn’t seem as revolutionary now since all the outfits are available at Party City, but back then it was pretty special.
I was eventually caught, and prison was unbearable. My lawyer advised me that enrolling in a gang-extraction program would look good to the parole board, and recommended an extremely helpful therapist. I joined a recovery group and was able to uproot the deep-seated insecurities that led me to seek out dangerous thrills and community among criminals in the first place. I now work at a bookstore—one that ironically stocks a lot of Batman comics. I get lonely sometimes, and a bit wistful, but I like me now. And that’s the important thing.
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