I bought my 2008 Mazda 3 new – my first new car. Its name suggested itself when I went to the dealer to buy Mica Black touch up paint. I shortened the name to McBlack (perhaps appropriate as I’m half Irish), and we were off. Not only its name, but his gender shortly became apparent as well. We shared many adventures over the 202,949 miles we traveled together. I had hoped to drive McBlack until his wheels fell off, and was grief-stricken looking at the wreckage after a collision with a vehicle from a hidden drive. So many memories. I sat on the sidewalk and felt sharp pain as I tried to inhale, cursing the airbag that had thumped me hard in the chest and spewed noxious chemicals. My left toe hurt tremendously. Turns out it was broken. I looked at my car and felt tears in my eyes, remembering all the years it had been my loyal friend and compatriot. So many times when I was sad or mad, McBlack listened carefully to my grievances. When I was scared of camping alone, I felt reassured by his quiet presence. Somehow my loneliness felt less painful knowing that he was with me. We listened to audiobooks and podcasts, with the windows rolled down and wind on our face. I was so saddened by the loss that I went to the tow yard and took a small piece of his plastic panel to remember him by. Somehow I couldn’t shake the feeling that he had sacrificed his life to save mine. I didn’t feel worthy of such a sacrifice. I had wanted to take something more to remember him by, but was afraid that the insurance company that totaled him would punish me for raiding his parts. Feeling incomplete, I decided to make a trek to the lot where McBlack lay to pay my last respects. I told Copart that I had left personal items in the car, then had to wait an hour for the paperwork to be completed before I could see my friend one last time. I removed a few small items, then lightly touched the car, recounting my appreciation of his loyalty, memories of trips all over the US and Canada, desire to fix him up and drive him once more, and the sadness that his demise had triggered. As I stood recounting these things, my dear friend Tom called me. Tom knew how much I loved McBlack, and understood how I felt that McBlack was a living being with a spirit. I asked Tom to say some words as I put him on speaker phone. He thanked McBlack, the magical mystery machine, lauding the car’s goodness. I cried as I rested my hand on the hatchback of my faithful friend, and placed a few geraniums in the passenger seat before bidding him farewell. I didn’t want to leave but the yard was closing. As I walked away, I heard McBlack say “it’s okay Lisa, I know you love me”. And I heard myself whisper back to him “please stay with me. Always”.