I remember the first day I saw PJ sitting in the parking lot adjacent to the university where I worked. I didn’t know his name then but little did I know that I would soon find out and begin this affinity with him. I just assumed PJ was male. There he sat low to the ground, fire engine red, with almost a look that enticed people to stop and check him out. This MG Convertible sports car was the envy and talk of the office. Steve, another employee of the university drove PJ into the parking lot each morning, took off his leather driving gloves, threw them on the seat, and entered the building. I found myself watching for them each day. He must have noticed.
One day much to my surprise Steve asked me out. “Would I like to go to a basketball game and out for a drive afterwards?” Of course I said yes. “Oh, PJ and I will pick you up at 6:00 on Saturday.” That’s when I learned the car had a name.
I heard the car before it even stopped and parked in front of my house. It was a warm April evening and some neighbors were outside. Steve opened the car door for me and as I climbed inside I couldn’t believe that here I was with a good looking guy and his good looking car. Somehow both of them made me feel glamorous. I enjoyed the basketball game but the ride afterwards was thrilling. The wind in my hair, we took off for the hills and bends that are so much a part of the city. I loved being in the car and watching Steve shift the gears and push the button on the dashboard that was the horn. The leather seat hugged me and just felt so right. We talked about PJ as though he were a real person.
We continued to date and when I looked out at the parking lot, Steve would wave, and there was PJ ready to whisk us away when day was done.
Steve had a penchant for racing and we would go to the car races. He also had a formula car that he raced. At these races you would see every sports car imaginable, but PJ was my love. Steve would take PJ into the shop for some repairs and I would find myself worrying if PJ would be all right.
My world came crashing in when Steve told me he was selling PJ. How could he do that? PJ had been there since our beginning. He shared our intimate moments and every conversation that we had. It was final. PJ no longer sat in the parking lot each day. Something definitely was missing. For days I lamented over his decision. I’d tell myself, “you must be crazy feeling this way, it’s just a car.” But to me it was so much more. PJ was gone and a little while after that Steve was gone too. He moved to another state accepting a better job than the one he had. Our lives had changed, PJ was gone, and so was the magic.
Through the years I can’t say that I ever saw another car around like PJ. To this day, PJ remains in my heart and is truly the only car I ever loved.
©Copyright March 6, 2007 by Janet Rattay
Submitted for the March 2007 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Anthropomorphic”