By Tommy Spencer
In 1982, I was born in a large dusty building in Detroit. I traveled to Connecticut in the back of a truck shortly thereafter to meet my first family. They were a docile sort; an old husband and wife who had already lived out their adventures. I spent a great deal of my first ten years locked up outside. We rarely went anywhere aside from some brief stints around town. I would make the most of it though. I would shine with the best of them, yet I longed for adventure. In 1992, my old man passed and my old lady spent even less time with me. As age and loneliness caught up with her, she became progressively sicker. I did my best to cheer her up. When I saw her, I would stand up straight, smile as best I could and be ready to go with her whenever and wherever she wanted to go. There came a time when my old lady became too sick to take care of herself and therefore was unable to keep me around any longer. I knew it was hard for my old lady to lose me and her freedom, so I tried to make the transition to my new owner as painless as possible. Whenever a new suitor came about, I put on my trademark shine and purred. However, at fifteen years, I didn’t look or feel so young myself. Most of the new prospective owners saw my age as a deterrent and politely declined me as an addition to their family. As the days slowly ticked by, the hope that I would find a nice new family rapidly extinguished. Although my owners did not help me realize the hopes of adventure that I had wanted nor the love that should have been lavished upon me, I loved my two humans and my impending loneliness left me crushed.
On the last day of last days, a portly old man in a white pick up truck came looking for me and my old lady. He looked me over and I put on my best shine. He poked and prodded and I purred to the best of my ability. Smiling he stepped back and gestured towards me saying, “My step son would make a perfect match for her.” My old lady was beaming; me, not so much. Although I was happy to see her smile, since it had been awhile, I was frightful of my future. That is, until I met my new young man. The look in his eyes when he first saw me, made me feel beautifully young again. He looked me over and I shined brighter than any diamond. He didn’t poke or prod. He pet and caressed me. I purred better than I have ever purred before. My young man whispered to me, “You and I are going to have a lot of adventures together.” Now I was the one beaming!
My young man adored me. We spent many an afternoon just hanging out listening to music. We spent a great deal of time alone but plenty with our friends. Our friends were a young rowdy group ripe for adventure. Our group traveled up mountains, down to the beaches and across the country. Not once did I get left home locked up. Oh and SNOW! I had seen snow before but was never allowed out in it. My young man didn’t let snow slow us down. It was slippery and cold but yet invigorating and fresh. Throughout these first few years, there was nothing we couldn’t do together. I was elated and couldn’t be happier. It was during this time that my young man found my name. I had been called by name before, but this one fit and it was so much more real. It was an unbreakable bond between the two of us. As I got older, my name and state of health was called into question on a more regular basis. Our friends took their cheap shots at me and my young man defended me valiantly. He was in my corner no matter what. Time does catch up however, and I was rapidly losing my shine and my purr. My body wasn’t quite what it used to be and my scrapes didn’t heal as quickly. I started slowing down. I was tired and sore. My rear end drooped more and more every year. My heart was still in every adventure. They just became shorter and closer to home. At the end of my twentieth year the adventures slowed. It was no longer healthy for me to be out in the snow. Sometimes I couldn’t make it back home from trips on my own and would need to be carried. My young man was never disappointed with me; he would just get me home adorning me with praise and expressing his love.
My need for adventure had passed. I saw the same longing for adventure that I once had, still burning fiercely in my young man’s eyes. I knew the feeling all too well and hated to be the reason that we couldn’t brave the great outdoors together. A year trudged by and my young man brought home the new guy. He was only three years old and he shared the longing for excitement. I thought he was a bit pompous, a little too shiny and he purred too loud. I was being replaced. I understood it, but it still hurt. Every time I watched to two of them go out together the glimmer of my heart faded. Over the next year, my travels slowed to occasional. I was lonely and jealous of the new guy. My shine was dull at best and I purred rarely. Then a perfect day would come along and I would go out with my young man and we would listen to music and he would give me a bath and we would make our way around loving life the whole time. It gave me a selfish pleasure to know that the new guy couldn’t share this time with us and that it was ours alone. As a cruel irony to that feeling, I was given away later that year. I was crushed!
My young man had given me away! I knew the time was coming but I wasn’t ready for it. I don’t know if I ever would have been. It just hurts! Now here I sit in a yard with a bunch of other slowly decaying adventurers watching parts sag and slowly touch ground. I know my new owners. I do see them once in a while, but they don’t know me. They don’t know who I truly am. They just see a rusted out 82’ Buick Regal taking up space in their junkyard. I know who I am and I remind myself as my rough shell is picked up and transported towards the automobile compactor. I am an old couple’s safe and reliable means of transportation. I am an adventurous young man’s first car. I look sweet and ride smooth. My name is Mrs. Buttersworth!