Not all of my cars have been female. The first car I owned, inherited from my wonderful grandfather, was a male named Brownie. Brownie came to live with me in 1987 and was towed away with a bouquet of flowers on his front seat in 1998. Then we got Silver Flash, a Chrysler 300M. That one was entirely male ... macho, even. That was Mr. J's car.
In tandem with Flash, I owned an economy car, female, named Trusty. She was a 1994 Ford Escort. My daughter The Heir totaled her in 2008, but it was all body damage, so I drove her for another six months until the open windows let in too much cold air. Then I gave her to my school's auto tech shop.
Trusty was the best car I ever had. I loved her. All these years that I've been at the Vo Tech, I've always hugged her in the parking lot.
By and by, Silver Flash needed more and more maintenance, and the mechanic soaked us for plenty, and then the timing belt went and the car imploded. It sailed to a stop, never to move of its own volition again.
For a long time, Mr. J had Flash, and I had a little Dodge Neon (male) named Dusty. I won't say one bad word about the Dodge Neon. When I got him in 2008, he was three years old with 40,000 miles on him. I took him to 100,000 and then some, and he was still running (with some clunking and screechy noises) when we traded him in last week on a brand new Subaru. I kissed him goodbye at the Subaru dealership.
Today, as I was on hallway monitor duty, the auto tech students were using blow torches to chop up a car. The car was my own dear Trusty. The auto teacher warned me and even gave me a little metal ID card from somewhere in her interior.
The students were taking chunks of Trusty and putting her into a big dumpster for metal recycling. I stood there and cried.
Cars are mechanical objects, but don't they also have some kind of soul? I don't know. We do love our cars. At least I loved mine, Trusty especially. And isn't the metal recycling facility sort of like a reincarnation destination for cars? Won't the metal get melted and used in something else?
You tell me.
My dear, beloved Trusty. Comfortable, reliable car. Useful teaching tool. Now a pile of metal. May she have found the Summer Daytona in the Great Beyond. My heart is wrenched.