A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

When Cameron's parents argue, he puts tissues in his ears to block the sound. With his ears plugged, he can lie on his bed and listen to his breath going in and out and imagine he is floating on the surface of water. 

In Cameron's grade six class they are reading about Niagara Falls. What he likes best is the story of Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to go over the falls in a barrel. Though she was bruised and battered, Annie survived. 

Saturday, Cameron's Mom and Dad are cautious and polite, like people who have just met. They are cleaning out the basement. The basement is a damp cavernous space with mud walls. There are corners no one has ventured into for years. It feels like being inside a secret. 

Among the boxes, they discover a collection of glass mason jars, a dollhouse streaked with mold, piles of yellowed magazines, and a wooden barrel. They carry everything out to the front porch where it will wait until garbage day.

Sunday, the fighting begins again. This time Cameron is ready. He slips out the front door and climbs inside the barrel. It is dark and the wood around him is slick with rot, but Cameron doesn't care. He isn't afraid, because he knows what's coming. 

He is bobbing on the waves, heading for the edge. He tucks his head down and hugs his knees to his chest. Then he is falling, falling through the darkness with the roar of water in his ears. 

He will survive too.

1 comment:

  1. Ok. This one cuts deep for me . I grew up in a dysfunctional family, where fighting and arguing was all I heard. So, I completely identify with Cameron. Escaping in a musty, dark barrel would be terrifying, but staying would be worse. Good for you Cameron. I am rooting for you.....