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, January 16, 2012

Her name is Romaine. Like the lettuce. 
Romaine drives the 26 Dupont bus. Every morning she arrives at 8:04 am. Sometimes you're late and rush to the bus stop, but most days you are early, waiting with your coffee and a Globe and Mail newspaper in hand. 

You never look at Romaine as you flash your metropass and board the bus, but you know she's given it a cursory glance. An automated voice calls out the names of each stop. There's no need to speak to each another. 

Nothing seems different about today. 8:04 am. Here comes the 26 Dupont. 

The air brakes hiss and the doors swing open. You climb aboard and find an empty seat. You open your newspaper to the Report on Business page.

But then on Jane street, Romaine hits the breaks and there is a loud thump. Your coffee sloshes onto your lap, soaking your pants. When you look up, you see you are stopped in the middle of the street. Romaine leaves the driver's seat and rushes off the bus. 

You don't know why, but you stand and follow her. 

Curled near the front left wheel, is a dog. It has copper colored fur and a blue collar. You walk close enough to see the blood and to be certain the dog is dead.

Romaine is standing frozen with her hands covering her mouth. Cars are honking and veering around the stopped bus. You turn to her to say we have to go, we have to move. 

But then your arms are around her. She is making a keening, animal sound and her tears are wetting the front of your shirt. You are surprised to realize that you are crying too, and squeeze her tighter.

You stay like that, briefly, before pulling away.

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