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.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

She's out there somewhere in this city doing God knows what. 

I'm sitting in the car in the driveway. It's getting cold in here but I still can't bring myself to turn the key. I want to--I want to drive these streets until I find my daughter, Erin, and carry her home. 

She's started stealing from my wallet. I don't know for how many months now. I've only just clued in. I planted a couple of extra twenties in there just to be sure, and the next day the money was gone. 

How did this happen? My mind recalls a thousand things we've done wrong, ways Liz and I could've been better. Sitting in the rear windshield of the car is my Sheriff's hat. A Christmas gift from Erin years ago. I was the law around these parts. Now it's the hat of a fool.

Thing is, I miss her. We used to be buddies. That's what she called me: "Buddy," instead of Dad. 

We'd do stunts in the pool, whole routines that she'd make up. Our grand finale was always Erin standing on my shoulders. I'd duck underwater and she'd climb on my back like a little monkey. Then I'd take hold of her ankles and stand up and she'd pop out of the water with her arms open.

Now it's just that I'm drowning and she's out there in the air with her arms outstretched and I can't hold on to her. 

I must've dozed off, because I wake to her face at the car window, peering in at me. She's got on too much makeup, but I don't care because I'm just so glad to see that face. 

She goes around to the passenger side and gets in. I can smell the booze on her and the cigarettes and perfume that's too old for her. Her skirt is short and I look at her bare knees, those too-skinny knees, and they are the knees of a little girl. I feel choked. She speaks first.  

"Where are we going, Buddy?" she asks me.

1 comment:

  1. So sad and poignant... from a father's heart.