A to Z Challenge: X is for Xenon

photo credit: Stormtrooper Rides in Style via photopin (license)
photo credit: Stormtrooper Rides in Style via photopin (license)

How will the A to Z Challengees address today’s letter, X?

CD az challengeToday on the A to Z Challenge, X is for Xenon. Don’t remember Xenon? It’s on your periodic table, element No. 54. That happened to be my football uniform number, back in the day. It’s a noble gas. I aspire to be noble. It’s colorless, dense and odorless.

I struggle with that last one sometimes.

I’m definitely a color – honey roasted, most accurately.

I could be considered dense. I struggle to learn stuff sometimes. Odorless? Well, I aspire to it. Maybe I’m not devoid of odor. I dream that I lean more toward cumin and vanilla than soccer cleats and garlic Parmesan chicken wings. One can hope.

And I’m not above stretching a scientific word into a story like this one.


It’s a story about when I left my best girl for a day and ran off with a younger one.

My best girl was down for the count. Do you expect me to sit around and wait? A man needs to ride. It’s natural. She turned the corner into my sight. In slow motion, I could hear strains of Diana Krall crooning to So Nice (Summer Samba.) Her curves and verve took my breath away.

Someone to understand

Each little dream in me

Someone to take my hand

To be a team with me

So nice

It’s been a while for me, with another girl.

What does a guy like me know about firing up a girl like her? I had to ask for help. I learned though. I can ignite her with just a touch. I’m still learning. But it’s becoming easier.

Isn’t she beautiful?


cooper1 Gabi’s at the shop. When we reunite, she’ll be good as new. Well, no. She’ll be good as Gabi. The flash and shine of modern engineering and a sunroof will fade. Why me, and this Mini Cooper? Why this Billy Joel/Christie Brinkley pairing of rental car and dude with rental car coverage on his insurance?

After leaving Gabi at the auto shop, I waited in two hours to replace her with a younger model. Others who waited griped and chided the rental-car clerk. I didn’t. It wasn’t his fault. Poor dude was swamped. When it was my turn, he looked up and said:

“Thanks for being so patient. I’m about to get you a Mini Cooper, my man.”

Yessss. No wood-paneled station wagon after all.

I can’t tell you all the adventures Coraline (yes, I named her) and I took in together. I will tell you I sang like Lionel Richie. I rolled the windows down and opened the sunroof and let the wind breeze through my salt-and-pepper hair until my scalp sizzled a bit.

I also lost her in the work parking lot, still can’t figure out how to open her trunk (excuse me?) and I’m pretty sure the lady with the jack-o-lantern smile who winked at me at a traffic light wouldn’t have even noticed me in my Pontiac.

It’s all good. Soon, Gabi and I (shit, I had to think a few seconds to remember her name! I really am a big jerk) are meant to be. Coraline’s lithe lines and leather seats will fade from memory. Gabi’s squeaky brakes and paint-chipped hood will beckon me home.

I might even give her a good wash this weekend.

It’s the noble thing to do for love.

xenon quote


  1. I wondered how you would go about sharing for the letter x and just have to say that you nailed it! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Janine – I need to venture out and see how my comrades tackled it.

  2. Excellent use of the letter ‘x’ and a great post too.

    Thank you for sharing and good luck with the rest of the challenge. Two more to go 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks David! Good luck to you too – how have you held up with it all? I look forward to checking out your stuff.

  3. Cute, Coach Daddy and Coraline ♥

    You had to wait for two hours? What ever happened to TRYING HARDER, rental company?
    I almost forgot my summer tire appointment yesterday. C and I had to rush over there, and he did his homework at the shop. Gotta go with the flow.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      it’s one of those Monday-Thursday romances, Tamara. Dude tried his ass off at Enterprise, he just didn’t have enough support. I wish they had a lounge with snacks and wi-fi. I could have done my homework, too.

      1. See, that’s what we go to IKEA for. No rental cars there. But everything else. Food, wi-fi, a place to do one’s homework… on the blog today, letter Y!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        We’ve finally reached the end! I wished for the alphabet to be 12 letters a couple of times through.

  4. Lyn says:

    X marks the spot. Treasure, my friend, treasure 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re too kind! Even if it’s the treasure box at the dentist’s office for good boys, I’ll be good with that.

  5. ksbeth says:

    sounds like you enjoyed your time together. and now back to your loyal and beautiful one.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      yes, loyal and beautiful. i miss gabi, but she’s still not out of the shop!

  6. Kim says:

    Fun that you got to drive a Mini Cooper temporarily. I’m sure your reunion with Gabi will be awesome!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s been a blast, but it’s too fun a car for me. Someday, maybe, when Gabi goes to the great parking lot beyond …

  7. laurie27wsmith says:

    The next time I let one rip Mate I’ll say, oops, it’s Xenon gas and it’s supposed to be odourless. I used to have a Mini Cooper. You should have seen my brother and I in it, I had to fold him up to put him in the darn thing.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s the beauty of being a compact man, mate. i’m well-suited for a compact car.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        You can fit easily into small and large.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m so versatile, mate.

  8. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Your writing is generally quite fun, but this one is even better…..I love how you personified those cars……at first glance at your post, I wasn’t sure where we were headed when you spoke of your “girls” and their “curves” and “another girl”…..was glad to see we were only talking about cars here!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! It’s easier for me to write amorously about pizza and Jennifer Lawrence.

  9. tamaralikecamera says:

    I once met a man who smelled like chorizo. Worry not – that’s not how I imagine you smell!
    Ok so we were in a parking lot over the weekend a Mini Cooper drove by. “A baby car!” Des exclaimed. Then another one passed by. (what are the chances?) “Another baby car!”

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Really? That wouldn’t be so bad. Spicy! And porky. But spicy.

      Twins! I loved that baby car. But it feels so good to have Gabi back, too. Don’t cry, Coraline – we always had April.

  10. roweeee says:

    We have an 1960s something Morris Minor , not unsurprisingly called “Morrie”.Morrie has a faster Datsun engine in him so quite a few people are surprised and perhaps even a bit embarrassed when Morrie overtakes them. JUst to stir people up, my husband has stuck an old man’s hat on the back shelf. We all know about “drivers with hats!!” xx Rowena

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s not quite the car Mr. Bean drives, is it. Morrie’s a sneaky devil. I have a driving hat! I need to put it in the back window, you’re saying?

      I think I look badass wearing it – but the kids disagree.

      1. roweeee says:

        No, Mr Bean drives a mini. Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAaehNNWeM8
        Don’t know about where you live but we have oldies who we call “Sunday drivers” or “drivers with hats”. They drive painfully slow and if you’re running late and you see a hat on the back window, it’s yikes!! My husband is a real stirrer.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I get lots of fingers and dirty looks for driving the speed limit!

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