Do you remember your first?
Grabbed your attention, didn’t I? I’ll tell you what. I’ll even give you his real name. His name was Bob. I know, lame-o name for a first, right? But he was a year older than me, slim body, reliable. We went through high school and most of college together. I have so many memories with Bob. How could I ever forget him or his amazingly bright green paint job?
Oh, did I forget to mention that Bob is a car?
Bob was the epitome of the safest vehicle on my entire high school parking lot. My father chose him specifically for me. Him being a car guy, he knew exactly which car would always get me where I needed to go, never crap out on me, and definitely wasn’t capable of being dangerous.
It was so safe, it couldn’t even do doughnuts. It was a great selling point to my dad, by the way. And I TRIED! My dad took me to an icy parking lot in January and we TRIED!
NOTHING! ZIP! NADA! Not even a doughnut hole!
Bob was with me every step of the way. Through every job, through every latte stand, through every incident I was late to school on final’s day. I got to know Pilot in that car.
You might be wondering about the name. Well, in my family it’s a tradition to name our cars. Ok, maybe I started the tradition.
My mother’s purple soccer-mom vehicle was dubbed “The Grape Van,” (for a family of three, I still question the need for a damn van), my dad’s jeep was the “Beep Beep,” as named by my mother, but the name hasn’t stuck. It’s been renamed to Grease Lightning since then. Even Pilot’s vehicle was christened upon the commencement of our relationship. His car was named “The Exploder.” (More on the Exploder another day.)
Bob was purchased out of a creepy, out-of-the-way location from a shabbily decorated lot. After a not-really-trying dealer semi-haggled with my family, we purchased Bob, an ’83 Mercury Topaz, the new addition to our fleet. (I know, right?) Within the vehicle we found a dirty chamois, a screwdriver, and a Bob Marley tape.
I know, I know. The story sounds familiar. We named it Bob, the dog taught me a lot out of life and then he tear-jerkingly died. Don’t worry, this story doesn’t end tragically. Promise.
While vacationing with my parents in Leavenworth, I found an “I Heart Bob” glow-in-the-dark key chain for him. Unfortunately, our relationship had to come to an end. While in college at CWU, my parents’ growing concern for the two-hour drive over Snoqualmie Pass (especially in Washington winter which is December to March-ish) made them decide I needed a four-wheel drive vehicle instead. So now I have Grease Lightning.
Mostly, I think my parents just wanted a new car, but my dad didn’t want to part with his Jeep and couldn’t justify having four cars for a family of three.
But don’t worry. Like I said, this story has a happy ending. (Remember, I love a good HEA, even for an inanimate object.) Bob was still extremely reliable, and fully functional, so we tried to find a good home. We found his new parents in my aunt and uncle. Now he has new owners, he’s still in the family and I get to visit him whenever I see my aunt and uncle.
What was your first car? What were your favorite memories in there?
Wait, maybe that’s a bad question. But it’s out there now, so… Oh, well.
Daily Writing Challenge
*You may have noticed I didn’t post a DWC yesterday. The question for Day 11 (ironic, right? ) was “What was a day like for your character at work?” Since the DWC was part of a WIP, I didn’t want to post it here. So here’s Day 12.
Day 12: What does your character do when their day isn’t a normal day? Write a scene where something goes amiss in your characters day-to-day life.
As I wait for my tow truck, the leather steering wheel making what I’m sure is a lovely indentation on my forehead. Sometimes I think that technology hates me. No, seriously. HATES ME. I’m supposed to be leaving for vacation in four hours and not only did my alarm not go off causing me to be late to work, but my computer decided today was a great day to stop functioning, preventing me from printing my boarding pass. After a mad dash to my neighbor’s house to print, sending a quick prayer of thanks for Mr. Rothenburger, I’m now on the side of the highway listening to a strange and ominous hiss coming from underneath the hood of my car.
Well, that’s actually not true. While driving, I heard a whirr plus a ka-thunk with a little dash of glug-a-glug. Then, the hissing.
As I reread the sun visor warning label for the thirty-seventh time, I glance at my suitcase. Poor little suitcase. Sitting there in the back of my car, patiently waiting to be loaded onto a plane to Hawaii. It’s bright orange with stickers from everywhere I’ve traveled. I hadn’t been to Hawaii yet, and I was itchy to go for some fun in the sun.
There’s a light tapping on the window. As my eye rolls up to look outside, an annoyingly cheerful but yummy looking mouth smiles back at me. His voice is slightly muffled as he announces himself through the glass.
“Are you Jenny Eppson, yellow Neon JRF-502?”
I nod and straighten up in my driver’s seat, brushing my plain brown hair off my face. I roll down the window.
“Yup, Davis Bogart. That’s me.” I pop the hood and step out of the car. My por little Neon, I grab my poor little suitcase, and set it next to poor little me on the side of the road. A tall, slightly tanned from working outside, muscled man with dark hair and dark eyes winks at me.
He nods towards my suitcase, “So where you headed?”
“I’m supposed to leave for Hawaii in…” I steal a quick glance at my cell phone. “Make that three hours.”
“Well let’s see what we can do about getting you on your way.”
“Wait a second… Bogart?” I raise my eyebrows at him. He gave a slight chuckle.
“Yeah, I know. But I’ll tell you what, I’m a huge hit with women over fifty.” He goes over to check my engine. I watched Yummy Mouth bend over my hood. Hmm. Not bad for our generation either.
“Hmm… Looks like your transmission blew. We’re going to have to take it in.”
“Nooo! Could this day get any worse?!” I yell to no one in particular. When I look back down Davis’ eyes widen a little.
“Bad day, huh?” he said, handing me a clipboard. “Sign here please.”
“The worst,” I grumble to myself, reluctantly taking the pen and sign my name and car away.
“I’m sorry. We’ll get it back to my garage… Unfortunately, my guys won’t be able to work on the vehicle until Monday.”
“Nooo!” I say again as I kick the tire. Shame on me for buying a Neon.
“Here, hop in the front seat.” He glanced down at the form. “Look, it’s late, my shift is almost over… and my mother would be shaking in her curlers if I left a young lady stranded without a ride. I could give you a lift to the airport. You wouldn’t want to pay for those parking fees anyway. We’ll store your car, free of charge until we can get to work on it.”
My jaw dropped. “You don’t have to do that, really.” I wrinkled my nose. “But if you want to stay in good standing with your mother, you might not want to mention the curlers. Oh, and thank you for calling me young.” He laughed.
“No really, it’s ok. My garage is on the way. Besides, we can take the carpool lane and maybe make up for the time you’ve lost from this whole transmission issue of yours.”
His logic and generosity was music to my ears.
“Bogey, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”