The GPS tells me in its female voice that I’m only one kilometre away from my destination, and as I enter the tunnel the radio cuts out on the best single released in 1967.
The side lights come on automatically, and, now that I’m out of the rain, I think about turning off the windscreen wipers. It’s my first day as a chauffeur and I’m starting to get nervous.
Just an hour ago the company I work for entrusted me with a car that exudes luxury from every pore, and a lilac-coloured, Indian silk tie. I’ve also received precise instructions about how to set out the bottles of water, the wet wipes, and a few maps and pamphlets. I’m going to spend the next three days sitting here in the service of two men of Chinese origin, who I’m on my way to pick up right now.
I give up on the idea of turning off the windscreen wipers and remember that, under strict orders from my boss, I have to switch to a classical music station as soon as my clients get on board. They’re here on business, and I suppose hearing that kind of music will make them feel secure.
Twenty-two minutes have passed since I pressed a button by chance and the driver’s seat and I are getting intimate with each other with a level-three massage. Despite the massage, I’m still not really feeling at home; a feeling which, for me, is vital to reach as soon as possible—the very same feeling a flea must have in the circus. It comforts me to think that some human participation will help to build a provisional home. Just in case, I’ve got a book stowed away in the glove compartment, La Tigresa del Altiplano by Antoine Velcro, and behind the sun visor, a photo of a woman with her back to the camera.
I try not to exceed the regulation 80 km/h and not to infringe any laws. But, little by little, perhaps as an escape valve for the pressure I’m feeling, I let myself be carried away by the blinking of lights in the tunnel and by the enchanting effect of the windscreen wipers. These two forces induce in me a state of inebriation and hypnosis similar to what you’d get from a dry martini mixed by Luis Buñuel.
Ladies and gentlemen, a daydream of how the next 72 hours of my life will unfold has just got going and there are three empty seats. Make yourselves comfortable and don’t forget to put on your seat belts.
I leave the tunnel and the rain is falling even heavier. In the distance I can make out my clients. The tallest one looks like he’s checking the latest app on his mobile phone, and the other, arms akimbo, seems to be sculpting clouds with his gaze. One’s older than the other. One has more vices than the other. One is more nervous about closing a deal with a European multinational than the other. They need each other.