My wheel has sat for what seems like ever in the corner of my living room, on top of that pile of stuff you should really find a home for but never get round to doing.
With a part of real life turning a bit shitty right now, I found myself thinking about a time when life felt simpler and less burdened. Last night I found myself staring at the wheel. I free the trapped USB cable, slide the keyboard to one side, plug in the Driving Force Pro and let it do it's little rotation dance. Still seems to work fine. Now where's LFS? Oh, I'd better download it and unlock it. There we go.
Wow, the new Westhill is looking good. Pity my driving isn't. Never mind, let's go online and I'll figure out my way round.
Oh, there isn't anyone online. Not racing, anyway. Yes, it's late in the evening, but I'm in Europe. And there's nowhere to race other than demo BL1 servers. Hmm. I'll try tomorrow.
So I tried tonight and had some races. I was slow, struggling around at the back of the grid. I'd lost my touch and was having to relearn it again. But then as the tracks changed, first from WE2Y to KY2 to AS7Y, some synapses started to fire again. I began to remember where I needed to dab the brakes to shift the weight and settle the car, where to run the kerbs and where the last braking points were. And when did the XRG get ABS? It felt reassuring and also somewhat disconcerting that after so many years, there was still a place in my brain that told me how to drive certain tracks and attack certain corners. I wondered what the funny smell was and realised it was the dust in the wheel getting hot from the FFB motors.
As I scrapped for positions at the back of the field around an Aston configuration I barely ever drove in a car I never specialised in, real life weighed on my mind again and I shut down LFS and detached the wheel. I was 23 when I first started with LFS S1. How time flies. My little sejour back into LFS felt like a window into a previous time, because unfortunately that's what LFS is. The feel is still there which is what counts, but everything else looks and feels dated, as if it is, like me, 10 years older but prefers not to think about it.