Perry was my car. He was my reliable boy. A ’97 Pontiac Grand Am. Six cylinders. Look at the hood on him!
He had issues. But so did I so it was okay. I spent a lot of time with Perry. To and from Vancouver. To and from work, to and from wherever I wanted to go. If I had Perry, I felt safe. It meant I could leave whenever I wanted.
Despite his issues, I found him strangely reliable. While I worried sometimes that he would leave me stranded, I never really thought he would do it, and he never did.
I knew pretty much how long I had once his “Low Gas” light came on, and I pushed it almost every time. I knew that when his gauges started flickering, he would settle out by Avenida [five minutes from my house]. He made a “thunkah clicka clicka” sound that only I heard, usually about 3 minutes into our morning drive. His windshield wipers weren’t so hot, and I didn’t like to replace them. I got talked into replacing them once, and they were WORSE after that so I left them mostly alone.
I could add coolant, oil and change all of his lights. I changed one of his tires once.
I ate in that car, dozed in that car, took smoke breaks from work in that car, cried in that car, drove the puppies in that car. I cursed his check engine light, on pretty much non stop for the last six years. I cringed when the ABS light came on. Or the coolant light. I would glare at the non-existent A/C.
But I knew how fast he could accelerate, and I knew how hard to hit the breaks. Sigh. I’m gonna miss him.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my new car, Johnny Fiama [pics to come soon]. He’s new. What’s not to like? He has air conditioning. He is clean. He smells like new car. But I haven’t yet bonded with him. I’m sure I will. I know we will be great friends. But new friends don’t ever replace old friends. They are just new.
Oh, Perry! I hope they didn’t scrap yard you! And if you did, I hope it was quick!