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, June 25, 2012

Truth be told, Nell hasn't had a man in her bed since Brian left. On Tuesday she had lunch with the girls and they discussed it. "I'm actually pretty happy," Nell said, spearing a piece of romaine lettuce with her fork. 
"But, how is that possible?" Rhonda said, draining her sangria and leaving little chunks of swollen fruit at the bottom of the glass. "I'd die without Rob there beside me." Around the table went murmurs and nods of approval.

That night as she was drifting off to sleep, Nell felt loneliness uncurl in her stomach. Tears arrived, and she cried into her shabby old pillowcase. 

In the morning, she made a decision. She would transform her bedroom in order to attract a man. It would be a regular love-making Field of Dreams.

At Bed Bath and Beyond, Nell walked up and down each aisle, filling her cart with luxurious, sensual things. She chose a soft duvet the color of milk chocolate. Matching sheets made of Egyptian cotton. Why buy one or two pillows when you can have five? As the pile in her cart grew larger, Nell's loneliness shrank. 

But then the cashier passed back her Visa.
"Um," he said, "it's rejected." 
"It's what?" 
"Rejected. Your credit card. You'll have to put something back."
His tag said his name was Khalil.
"I can't put anything back," she said, feeling tears threaten.
"Of course you can. Let's have a look." 
Khalil held up the curtains with the gold tassels on the bottom, "what about these?" he said, "or," pointing to the vanilla honey candles, "a couple of those?" 
"You don't understand. I need all of this." 
He lifted a wrought iron candle holder with a fat cherub on the bottom, "you need this?" 
"Well, I..." 
And then something amazing happened. Nell started to laugh. She laughed until she was out of breath.
"I don't need any of it, actually." 
And she didn't.

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