This here is Walter, say hi.
So I totaled my car the other day. Without going into the menial details, it wasn’t my fault and thankfully the insurance companies agree. However I found, and find myself rather sad about saying goodbye to my friend Walter. Yes, his name is Walter. Yes, it’s a HE.
Insert insecure gay joke here because I named my car a guy’s name…
But I’m curious to know how naming an inanimate object somehow gives it personality. Why am I attached to a car? I gave it the name Walter and assigned it a personality that doesn’t exist. I imagined the car having a mind of its own, fighting through the hot and cold seasons just to get me to where I needed to go when in reality it was just a series of metal and plastic pieces with no heart at all.
Is it because I’m a writer that I pretend to personalize a car? Is it because I’m young? I know I’m not the only young person to name a car or get hung over one when it gets trashed.
I call it a combination of the two, which is a double whammy unfortunately for myself. I think younger people are searching for so many things that they name vehicles to fill a void that hasn’t been filled by something more significant yet. Either that – or they do it because they’re bored.
I can only look at myself as an example. I’m single, besides my writing career which is taking its sweet time getting started, I work a crappy job and still struggle to support myself. There is a lot to be desired in my life. I have long friendships that blossomed in adolescent life, but in the shadow of adulthood, are dwindling down to but embers.
I took pictures of Walter because I wanted to remember him and the memories we shared. I had many life changing conversations and experiences within him. I went on my only vacation with my best friend and drove to Kentucky on 3 hours of sleep. I drove to North Carolina to meet my brother on a whim and went to countless shows. I took pretty girls on dates and got to fog up the windows on a few occasions. From my perspective, I should feel a degree of friendship with the car. I spent fragile years of my life with him. He was my bro. And in the end, he protected me when someone decided to be Pennsylvania’s dumbest driver.
People don’t do these things later in their life because they have filled those voids. Maybe my next car will have a name, maybe it won’t. I can only assume that when I have a car that doesn’t have a name, it means I’ve moved on to some degree.
But I’m young, and I’m a writer. I like adventure; anything to make life more interesting than it is. So here’s to you Walter, you magnificent bastard – here’s to the years I spent trying to figure myself out with you.