Noilly Prattle: Let me bore you with this story...(3)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Let me bore you with this story...(3)

Coming Home - Part 3

ready for surgery...
     Many days passed until, finally, one day I was moved into a big enclosed space with all kinds of machines and noise and sentients running around doing one thing or another on many other damaged automobiles. A couple of the sentients (they were humans) began to look me over, opened my hood and said: “The engine looks good, not damaged at all. None of the windows are broken, but the left passenger door and the left front fender are crumpled and have to be replaced. The front passenger seat is bent and torn—has to be replaced. Left side airbags have to be replaced. The rest of the interior is OK. The chassis is not bent—big plus. The biggest problem is that the left front drive wheel and brake mechanism are ruined, and the driveshaft is bent--both will have to be replaced and retooled. OK, that's it. Let's get this baby ready for surgery!” The last thing I remember was my battery being disconnected and then nothingness.

       There was the sound of music. I had heard that music before. It was a Mozart Violin Sonata. It was one of the pieces of music on my USB. I thought: “I'm conscious again. I've been reconnected and started--the USB has come back on automatically.” There was a man in the driver's seat. He was talking to another man outside about me. He said: “Looks good, she started right up.” (He called me “she”. Maybe I'm beautiful again!) “Good, take her out for a test on the highway. Bring her up to 120kph and check for smooth acceleration and any shaking and pulling in the left front drive wheel,” said the other man. Off we went.

test drive
       We drove slowly out of the Takanaka Auto parking lot. It was like learning to move again. I was a little shaky at first, but as we drove out of the lot and down the street I had the urge to go faster and sense the wind flowing around me and through my vents. I didn't notice any changes in my drive wheel, it turned smoothly and steadily as my speed increased. Out on the highway the driver accelerated smoothly and steadily up to 120kph and held me there for several minutes until he was satisfied that everything was running smoothly and then he drove me back to Takanaka Auto. Mechanically I was like new. I sensed that my body had been restored to its original condition, but my brain had to be reset. Takanaka wasn't equipped to work on my computer, so I was sent to the Mazda dealership in Kushiro for the reset. Now I was ready to be sent back home 1500 kilometers away. I felt ready to drive all the way back by myself. I'm pretty smart, but, unfortunately, I'm not a self-drive automobile.

up up and away...
       Takanaka put me on a piggy back truck and I was given a ride to the port in Kushiro. The piggy back pulled up to a big boat, but this one was different from the ferry boat I had driven onto before. It didn't have any openings to drive through. This one was called a “cargo ship”. Before I knew what was happening I found myself being hoisted high into the air. “What a strange new sensation,” I thought. Then I was lowered onto the deck and tied down with cables attached to the steel rings under the front and back of my chassis, like the one that towed me to Takanaka Auto after the collision. So I had my first sea voyage in the open air. The sun was shining, the sea birds were flying all around as we pulled away from the pier and sailed out of the harbor. I felt the ship pitching and rolling gently on the swells. It took several days with the ship making ports of call, loading and unloading cargo, until we reached the big port of Osaka. I was uncabled and again hoisted high into the air and put down on another piggy back truck and driven to Tamashima port near my home in Okayama. It was a weekend and I couldn't go home until Monday.

oops, overshot the mark....
c'mon down...
       Finally, the big day. I'm going home. The piggy back truck driver arrived and I heard him call someone on his cell. He spoke to someone and said that he expected to arrive around 10 o'clock that morning and would “you” be home at that time? That “you” must be my parents who were waiting for me. I'm not a sentient, of course, but I think I felt something like “excitement” to be going home and the comfort of my own garage. As the piggy back drove closer to my home, I began to recognize places I had been to before, and then we were on “my street”. I saw Aya coming out of the house and Jude was standing on the deck above my garage—with a camera as usual. Oh no, the truck drove right past the house! Aya ran down the street to tell the driver that he had gone past the house. “No, no,” said the driver, “I need some space to back your car off the truck.”

       And so, he backed me off the truck and up to the driveway to my garage and I was back home again. “Wow,” said Aya, “she looks like new!” “Yeah, she sure does,” said Jude, “let's take her out for a test spin and see if she runs OK.” 

       They did, and I DID!

The end

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