Thursday, May 20, 2004

The sinister melancholy of The Tire

I am The Tire
around turn I endlessly
until popping day

I present this haiku to you, as I begin this discussion of the inner life of car tires. Sure its not a great life, I'm sure it is in fact largely a nauseating life, turning and turning and turning, just typing it makes me sick. So between bouts of nausea, I'm sure tires complain endlessly to their neighbor's. Yet neighbor is all they will ever be, as the cruel task masters who enslave them deny them the close companionship of fellow members of their species. Only as young children do they cavort together through factories and stores, only to find that adolescence striped from them as they are rotated and balanced into perfect harmony with a car. There to slavishly carry the car safely over all manner of surfaces, only to end their life shamefully in a mass grave, where they will spend eternity in a purgatory of idleness, or for the unfortunate few, the hellishness of the tire fire. Some few will be forced into further servitude in some new reincarnate form, which the man tries to tell you is recycling.

So if this is their life, is there any wonder why they might wallow endlessly, only to one day find they can take it no longer. In that deepest moment of sorrow to open their treads to some road debris like a defeat samurai general pressing his pressing his sword to his breast.

Like many a tire before, and many a tire after, my tire found this moment of despair and choose, the easy way out. Without ceremony or a sound it was over, and its lifeless shell clung to my car, flapping in the RPM's.

Caught between mourning for my tire, and general loss of vehicle control, I was forced to the shoulder. There I performed the last rites, as befitting my lost friend. Also known as the rites of Jack and Tire Iron. As I raised the car up on the steel, its comrades whipped by in silent salute, each one leave a wake understanding, and as if the car could think, it leaned into spaces left behind, yearning to rejoin with the road and is pack.

When at last the rites were finished, we left that shoulder, by that road, where one poor tire ended its days. In one final salute to their lost neighbors and long time friend, engine, car, and tires all roared back to the road throwing up dust, tears and a piercing shriek.

And such is the way of tires.

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