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, November 16, 2011

She was the best, brightest thing to happen to Adam in a long time. He lived for the moment she'd come in to the Happy Market. 11:18 every night. Right after she finished her shift waitressing at the diner next door. 

She'd always get cheese Doritos and munch them while she waited in line. Sometimes she'd buy a bag of fertilizer and laugh as he rung her through. "A little snack for me, and one for my flowers," she'd say.

She loved her flowers. "There's something special about watching things grow." Adam didn't know her name, and so he called her 11:18. 

Then one night, she told him she was sick. She'd said it to explain why she fumbled counting her money. 

"Gosh, I'm sorry. It's the chemo. It's making my brain fuzzy." 

When 11:18 had gone, Adam escaped outside for a break. He hid behind the dumpster and cried. He felt like his heart was breaking. She'd lit up his life like a sudden unbelievable sunrise he'd never see again. 

Sometimes she still came in to the Happy Market for the chips, but she stopped buying the fertilizer. 

"What about your flowers?" Adam asked. 

"Don't have energy these days for flowers," she said, shaking her head sadly. 

That night, he followed 11:18 home. He stood outside her house. Her back patio was covered in planters filled with brown, crusty plants. Adam didn't know how to grow her flowers back. But there was something else he could do. 

The next night, he planted plastic windmills in the soil. He hoped that in the morning, she would look out the window and see the bright spinning colors and feel better, even for a little while.

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