By: Lidia Pires
I googled him...
Not because I was wary of his background or in search of discovering something I did not know for he's been with me pretty much all his life. But I wanted to know if he had an identity past the one I gave him and the one my friends and acquaintances have adopted.
Baby Blue: A song recorded by Badfinger in 1971. Another song by George Strait in 1988. Not him. He's younger.
He was one of many firsts.
I didn't want him in that color. I picked three colors I would be content with. Two months later they call me to tell me it had arrived. Waiting for me a mere two and half hours away. Great! I'm on my way! Just one thing, it's not in any of the colors that you wanted. Which one? Light blue. Then I'll wait until I get what I want. Another month? Absolutely not! If you don't take it I have to give it to the next person on the list within 24 hours. Fine, I'll drive there to at least check it out. A mad dash to the bank (just in case) for he was going to be the first I owned outright.
Baby Blue: depression affecting a woman after giving birth; postnatal depression. Maybe I did get a sort of post partum blues with him but still I find nothing on him on the web.
I was cranky and tired when I arrived at the dealership. Let's see this car. Elevator up to the level where it was, a bit separated from the rest. Felt like I was getting the runt of the litter, but I've always championed the underdog and this car, though shiny and new, seemed like it craved belonging to someone. My companion: "It's blue, which was on your list." Me: Yes, but this one is Baby Blue. And so he became the first car I ever named; I had to take him. It was the first thing that I owned that went from being an "it" to having a gender and an identity.
Baby Blue: Reports on road trips done. Now we are getting somewhere. Yet, these Baby Blues are mostly Volkswagens. Mine is a Toyota Prius. My first hybrid to match how I feel I am as well: a blend of cultures and traditions.
A lot was happening in my life. Major disruptions and upheavals and my only constant was he. In an attempt to face fears that had followed me all my life I packed a small rolling case, a cooler and climbed onto the driver's seat one dawn and input on his GPS, Orlando, Florida: my first long-distance driving solo trip. Got there in three days, returned to Los Angeles in two and a half weeks. Along the way Baby Blue and I became one. He provided a freedom that I had never experienced before. I promised I would always take care of him as long as he got me through this adventure in one piece. And he did, though he didn't fare as well after thieves broke two of his windows to steal what was inside.
Two years later another cross-country with a man whose first lesson was to understand that Baby Blue was a boy and that he had a name. Even later, a trip upcountry braving snow, hail and interstates being closed off behind us as we went. Baby Blue got us through.
The mechanics at the dealer know him by name. My friends ask me how he's doing. One has a female car he doesn't trust parking next to mine just in case. A man, on our first date, shows up with an older version of Baby Blue but in the exact same color, the attraction instantaneous.
Baby Blue has been around in almost every momentous instant in my life. He is the only one that I know I will keep forever and yet, when I google him repeatedly, nothing comes up.
It matters not. Baby Blue is real and the most loyal companion I have ever had. A lot of more adventures ahead of us, no doubt.