My last car, the reviled Hyundai Sonata, which I never named and which was the bane of my existence mere days after getting it, did not beep when I locked and unlocked the doors. It did, however, beep––wail, actually––at random times, like during thunderstorms or when the door didn't shut all the way. Some little gizmo was perpetually coming loose, which caused the door to register as ajar, thereby leaving the dome light on and alerting a little bell which would ring all night long, thus causing the battery to die and when the battery neared the end of its pathetic life it erupted in the most unsettling caterwauling known in automotive history. At least for a few minutes, and then it would heave and sigh and give up the ghost and die. But generally it did not beep when it was supposed to.
My new car, though, my beautiful black Subaru Outback which I have christened Simone, after the Jazz singer, Nina Simone, beeps whenever I want her to. And it's not an annoying little beep either, but a full and melodious one, cheery and confident but not overly so. It's assertive, an "I'm-Ready-Whenever-You-Are" sort of beep, and Duncan has grown to recognize it as my beep, the signal that I have returned home and am ready to take him out on our first walk of the evening. That beep summons him to the windows in the office that overlooks my parking space so that when I climb out of the car––mug of tea, water bottle, and backpack in tow––I have only to look up to see a beaming face, bobbing back forth in such a way that tells me his tail is wagging excitedly, rocking his whole body with it. And as I move around the building Duncan moves too, from the window by the desk to the front window, which will soon be obscured by the leaves of our Linden tree. His smile travels with me, and by the time I'm at the door, he is also, waiting, dancing, chirping as Goldens are wont to do, ready to go, full of love and exuberance.
A button is such a silly thing. A beep even sillier. But it is music to the ears of my best friend, who brings me such joy. I could push that button all day long.