I had to put my car down today. Yes, it is an inanimate object in and of itself, but she has been my constant companion every time I pulled out of my driveway for the last seven years. She has been with me on late nights, driving home alone on dark highways. She has been a reliable, faithful friend and I will miss her. She is where I could sing at the top of my lungs without judgment. She allowed my to eat countless meals on the run and never complained when I spilled coffee on her or left crumbs. She has at times been my office, my spare bedroom, my escape route… She’s lugged things I couldn’t possibly carry, cradled my dogs in her caboose and amazed me with her capacity to accept things I never thought would fit, just by folding down her seats.
I do this a lot. I ascribe human characteristics to the inanimate objects in my life. Its odd, I know, but I can’t help myself. It’s called ‘Animism’. Each week, as I pour my many pills into the daily dispenser, I think, “Time to go to work!” Or if an extra pill in my hand gets returned to the jar I think, “Run back to your friends” or “Ah ha! You’re saved for another day!”
So clearly, I was upset when the service manager informed me of a major leak that would require a “diagnostic test”, or what I viewed as exploratory surgery, to find the source of the leak. The result had to do with bolts and seals and they could not guarantee the operation would be a success. My old mechanic recommended cutting my losses and getting a new car. She was getting old, he said. Old? She’s seven!!!!
But I bit the bullet, put the hold on the repair and set off to replace my buddy. My husband drove me to the service center where I emptied her of my personal belongings: phone chargers, EZ Pass, empty water bottles, junk. I felt guilty I hadn’t washed her, covered as she was with the sand and salt from the nasty winter driving conditions. I had planned to take her for a nice wash after her routine maintenance, before I found out she was really sick.
In two hours time, I will pay the bill for the diagnosis, say goodbye and pick up my shiny new car. Time to make a new friend.