Dylan has a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. The SRT8 comes stock with a something large hemi V8, brakes that stop the car faster than the normal non-srt8 brakes etc. etc. Here’s the thing – In the case of Dylan, the Jeep isn’t the focus.
In Dylan’s own words, when he was young “things were tough, and drugs were easy. I ended up hanging out with tough kids and shit, and there was easy access – like ‘You wanna try this?’. It was always just easy.” The thing that struck me though was his next sentence – “But then cars were easier.”
So why did he find cars to be easier? I mean at first glance, drugs have a nihilistic logic to them that no manual labor should be able to hold up to. According to popular culture, dopamine, the “reward chemical” is the main thing that motivates life to perform self-sustaining actions (such as eating, reproducing etc.). If there’s a way to drug oneself to just get the reward of dopamine, then isn’t the biological point of life achieved?
Fortunately, the reality about dopamine is far more nuanced. While the tale of dopamine as the reward chemical makes for a good story (more on that later), dopamine and reward aren’t as connected as we thought. But still it doesn’t really explain how wrenching at a car could rank, of all things, as easier than doing drugs.
So back to that statement “But then cars were easier.” See the thing is that that the human brain is wired to try to complete unfinished tasks. It’s the reason why televisions series are so addicting – without the resolution of the main storyline, your brain wonders how it will end.
Similarly, if we view drugs and cars as a story line, a hit from <insert favorite amphetamine here> has a start and an end. You finish exactly where you started when you run out of chemicals. But a working on a car is like a TV show. Every bolt you turn and part you replace is akin to a new episode and calling it a night is like a cliff hanger. The best part is at the end of the entire “season” you’re left with a functional car. And that’s why for Dylan “cars just gave me a release better than other things I used to release.”
But as time changes priorities change, and now his main priority is his family. He has a 4-year-old daughter, and the woman he’s with is pregnant with his future son. Raising a human being is a greater story line than any car, and for Dylan that’s definitely clear. He sold his 95 Civic Del Sol Si to buy his current SRT-8 despite recently overhauled suspension, transmission and engine. For him having kids “just made him realize things faster.”
He admits he grew up young, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Instead of “wasting money on parties, and getting drunk all the time”, Dylan and his family goes “to beaches, and does everything they can to see interesting things and travel”. Instead of stories of crazy benders and feats of hedonism, he relays tales about how his daughter thinks the highway is a race and shouts “he’s beating you!” whenever anyone passes him. Instead of looking forward to a rager, he looks forward to his next kid. In his own words “Now four years later, having another one is wicked fun.”
More pictures can be found here.