Today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post: “Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.”
Sweet Mary Jane. That is what I call her. My second car. Interestingly enough, I did not name her until she was more than nine years old. The naming was my way of expressing appreciation for what I had too long taken for granted, e.g., the fact that I had put the key in the ignition thousands of times and she had responded. Until the day she did not. She refused to start.
Her first refusal occurred in a fairly safe place – the parking lot at work. The AAA technician came, said it was the battery, jumped started Sweet Mary Jane, and suggested I take her to AutoZone just to make sure all was well. She must have chuckled and said silently, “I know something you do not know Mr. AAA,” because she shut down about 5 minutes later, and not in a convenient place. This time it was on a street corner while I was waiting for the light to change. She did so without a sound.
I cannot remember the diagnosis given by the mechanic at the dealership where Sweet Mary Jane was “healed,” but I will never forget standing in the cruel, relentless heat of the Texas sun that summer afternoon, waiting for the AAA technician to come again. Sweet Mary Jane had to spend the night in the hospital and I missed her. I named her when she was returned to me. Every so often now, I tap her dashboard lightly and say, “Thank You, that my car started without problems one more time.”